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Philadelphia, King & Baird, Printers. 


Part I. — The British Army in North Carolina, in 

the Winter and Spring of 1181, 9 

Part II. — Revolutionary Incidents, <. 197 

The Honorable Jesse Franklin, 197 

Legislative Enactments against the 

Tories, 212 

Tories in Disguise, 215 

Treatment of the Tories, 222 

Miscellaneous Incidents, 228 

Thomas Hadley 244 

Samuel Divinnie, 246 

Daniel Hicks, 249 

Fred. Smith, 252 

Gen. Harrington, 255 

Nathaniel Kerr, 258 

Ambrose Blackburne, 260 

Robert Rowan, 264 

Mrs. Elizabeth Forbis, 266 

Mrs. Mary Morgan, 270 


Mrs. Rachel Denny, 273 

Mrs. Elizabeth McCraw, 282 

Miss Ann Fergus, 284 

Mrs. Margaret Caruthers, 286 

Miss Margaret McBride, 291 

Mrs. Martha Bell, 304 

Col. John Paisley, 340 

James Love, 349 

Colonel Dodd, 352 

Col. Thomas Bludworth, 355 

Closing Scenes of the War, 36 Y 


It was stated in the preface to the first volume 
of this work, that materials were on hand for 
another of a similar kind, but that their publication 
would depend on the wishes of the community, of 
which the extent of their patronage would be a suf- 
ficient indication. Being local in its character, a 
general circulation, beyond the limits of North 
Carolina, was not expected ; but it has been well 
received in other States, and the good people here 
have shown a liberality which is not only grateful 
to my feelings, but indicates an increasing interest 
in our revolutionary history. That edition has been 
nearly all sold, and intelligent men, in different parts 
of the country, have, by letters and in other ways, 
expressed a desire to get the whole. 

The present volume, it is hoped, will be found no 
less interesting than the first, and it is now submit- 
ted to the public with a little more confidence. After 
the first part, the pieces were all, with two or three 


exceptions, written several years ago, and were de- 
signed as communications to some of the weekly 
papers, but only one was published. What is now 
the first part, as originally written, contained merely 
an account of the Guilford battle, and the little inci- 
dents or anecdotes connected with it ; but, on reflec- 
tion, it seemed desirable to give the best account I 
could, of the British army, and its operations while 
in this State, in the winter and spring of 1781 ; and, 
at the suggestion of a friend, I concluded to publish, 
in an Appendix, the Order-Book of Lord Cornwal- 
lis, which, by some means or other, was left probably 
at Fayetteville or Wilmington, and is now preserved 
at the University. This shows his lordship's char- 
acter better than anything else, and will no doubt 
be regarded, by every intelligent reader, as a valu- 
able addition to the work. 

Then, a plate of the battle, and a map of the 
State, with the progress of the British army traced 
on it by a distinct line, was deemed indispensable. 
The map is taken chiefly from that of Tarleton, who 
though not reliable in everything, is believed to be 
the best authority we have in a matter of that kind. 
The plate shows the relative position of the two 
armies, and of the different corps in each, at succes- 
sive stages of the conflict. I had a sketch of the 
ground taken by a professed artist, expressly for this 


work, and although, these things add to the cost, the 
intrinsic value of the work is increased more than 
the price. 

For years I have believed that history has not 
done justice to the North Carolina militia on that 
occasion ; and if I have succeeded in showing that, 
according to their numbers, and with a fair allow- 
ance for unfavorable circumstances, they did full 
out as well as any other militia in the field, if not a 
little better, every citizen of the Old North State 
will hereafter visit that scene of desperate conflict, 
and of glorious results, with a little more satisfac- 
tion than heretofore. 

The account of the massacre at the Eight Mile 
House, and that of Timothy Bludworth, Colonel 
Dodd, and one or two others, I have taken from the 
Wilmington papers, but without closely or uniformly 
copying the language. 

In addition to the gentlemen mentioned in the 
first volume, to whom I am, more or less, indebted 
for materials, I take pleasure here in acknowledging 
my obligations to Gen. Grey, of Uwharie, J. F. 
Graves, Esq., of Mount Airy, James Mebane, Esq., 
now an octogenarian, of Caswell county, and G. J. 
McCrie, of Wilmington, for some additional facts. 



I3ST 1781. 

It is well known that the British never subdued 
North Carolina, and never could remain long in it at 
a time. With their veteran and disciplined troops, 
under the command of able and experienced officers, 
well supplied with artillery and all the implements 
of warfare, they could pass through the country, 
plundering and distressing the inhabitants along the 
route; but they were all the time annoyed, and 
soon found it necessary to retreat. They made 
three attempts to invade the State, but only the last 
was at all successful, and in regard to the main 
object, even that was an entire failure. 

With the events which preceded and led to this 
invasion, we presume most of our readers are fami- 
liar. In the summer of 1779, the town of Savannah 
was taken, and nearly the whole of Georgia again 
submitted to British rule. On the 12th of May, 1780, 
Gen. Lincoln, who was engaged in the defence of 
Charleston, surrendered to the British forces under 
Sir Henry Clinton, and the whole State was then 


virtually in the power of the enemy. Soon after, 
Sir Henry sailed to the North and left Lord Corn- 
wallis, with about four thousand troops, to complete 
the conquest of the State and re-establish the British 
government. Without delay, he marched into the 
upper country, and leaving garrisons at all the 
important points, he took post at Cambden himself, 
with the main body of his army. Only seventeen 
days after the fall of Charleston, a regiment destined 
for the defence of that town, and on its way thither, 
was met, forty miles below Charlotte, at Waxhaw 
Creek, and cut to pieces by Colonel Tarleton. On 
the 20th of June, the battle of Ramsour's Mill was 
fought between the Whigs and Tories, in which the 
patriots gained an important victory, though their 
enemies had the advantage of the ground and out- 
numbered them three or four to one. July 12th, a 
detachment of British and Tories were attacked at 
Williamson's plantation and completely routed. On 
the 1st of August, a brave but unsuccessful attack 
was made on a British detachment at Rocky Mount ; 
and on the 6th, was fought the battle at Hanging 
Rock, where the British were roughly handled, and 
a complete victory might have been gained, had not 
the men been so eager in pursuit of the routed 
enemy that they could not be kept in order, and 
were ultimately obliged to retreat. On the 16th, 
Gates was defeated near Cambden, and his army cut 
up and dispersed. On the 18th, Sumpter was de- 
feated on Fishing Creek, by Tarleton, and a large 
body of light troops. September 26th, the British 
army, under Lord Cornwallis, entered Charlotte, 


where they met with a warm reception, and were 
greatly harassed by the Whigs of that region while 
they remained in the place. October 7th, the decisive 
battle of King's Mountain was fought, which closed 
the campaign for that year, and compelled Cornwal- 
lis to retreat, with all possible expedition, into South 
Carolina, or lose the conquests which he had already 

From the fall of Charleston, it was, no doubt, the 
design of Cornwallis, and probably of Sir Henry 
too, that the conquests then commenced should be 
extended, not only over South Carolina, but as far 
North as possible. This object appears to have been 
kept steadily in view, and all his measures were 
taken accordingly. If it was not foreseen, it soon 
became manifest that, unless North Carolina could 
be subjugated, his possession of South Carolina 
would be insecure ; and the royalists from this State 
made him believe that the conquest would be an 
easy one. If, therefore, he was forced, by the battle 
at King's Mountain, and other circumstances, to 
leave Charlotte before he had done anything more 
than distress the inhabitants and increase their hos- 
tility, he was neither idle nor discouraged, but was 
endeavoring to get the British authority fully estab-. 
lished in the conquered territory, and waiting for 
expected reinforcements from the North, under 
General Leslie, without which he could not garrison 
all the posts which were necessary to be occupied, 
and have an army with him sufficient for aggressive 
operations. On hearing of the victory gained by 
the Americans at King's Mountain, he left Charlotte 


abruptly in the night, and was pursued by Colonel 
Davie to the Catawba river, between which and 
Charlotte he left near forty of his baggage- wagons ; 
but he made good his retreat to Winnsboro', where 
he was in the midst of friends, and could make his 
arrangements to better advantage. 

The battle of the Cowpens was fought on Wednes- 
day, January 17th, 1781, and is regarded, by the 
British historians, as one of the most important in 
that series of events which resulted in the indepen- 
dence of this country. On receiving information, 
near the last of December, that General Morgan, 
with about five hundred regulars and a few militia, 
had crossed the Catawba, and was advancing towards 
the British post at Ninety-Six, Lord Cornwallis dis- 
patched Colonel Tarleton with a thousand men, the 
flower of his army — most of them cavalry and light 
troops — furnished with two pieces of artillery and 
well equipped in every respect, with orders to cap- 
ture General Morgan or drive him out of the coun- 
try ; but they met with a sad and most humiliating 
defeat. This affair mortified the pride of the British 
more than anything that occurred during the war, 
and they always speak of it as a " shameful defeat;" 
for, according to Stedman, one of their own histo- 
rians, they had a decided advantage in numbers, in 
the ground, and in every respect. Tarleton does not 
admit that he had a superiority in numbers, but Sted- 
man, who is a much more candid and reliable author, 
admits it without any hesitation, and is by no means 
sparing in his censures of Tarleton — not for de- 


ficiency in courage, but for his reckless impetuosity 
and unofficer-like conduct. 

" During the whole period of the war," Stedman 
says, ' ' no other action reflected so much dishonor 
on the British arms. The British were superior in 
numbers : Morgan had only five hundred and forty 
continentals, the rest militia ; Tarleton's force com- 
posed the light troops of Lord Cornwallis' army. 
Every disaster that befel Lord Cornwallis, after 
Tarleton's most shameful defeat at the Cowpens, 
may most justly be attributed to the imprudence and 
un-soldierly conduct of that officer in the action. 
Nothing could be more unexpected by Lord Corn- 
wallis than the news of Tarleton's discomfiture. If 
he judged from the events of former actions, when 
the numbers were not so equally balanced, and the 
disproportion much more in favor of the Americans, 
he had reason to look for a victory instead of a 
defeat. The disappointment was galling, and the 
loss of credit cast a shade over the commencement 
of the expedition." But, " deeply as his lordship 
was affected with the weight of this misfortune, and 
greatly as he saw his difficulties increased by it, he 
nevertheless resolved to prosecute the original plan 
of the expedition into North Carolina, as the only 
means of maintaining the British interest in the 
Southern Colonies." 

When the battle of the Cowpens was fought, 
which was on Wednesday, January 17th, 1781, 
Cornwallis was encamped on Turkey Creek, about 
twenty-five miles below, in South Carolina, where 
he was waiting, partly to learn the results of Tarle- 


ton's movements, but chiefly for a reinforcement of 
fifteen hundred men, from Charleston, who were now 
approaching under the command of General Leslie, 
who had his head-quarters, on the night of the 17th, 
at Sandy Eun, a tributary of Broad river, and about 
twelve miles below Turkey Creek, where, we believe, 
Lord Cornwallis had his camp on the 17th and 18th. 
Usually, the orders for the day were issued the night 
before, to prevent any confusion or delay in the 
morning; and on the night of the 17th, as we find 
in the Order Book, Leslie issued the following order 
for the next day : 

" The troops to march to-morrow morning at day- 
break. One company of the 1st Battalion Guards 
in front of the guns. The regiment De Bose to 
cover the baggage. The North Carolina Regiment 
in the rear of the baggage, and the 2nd Battalion 
Guards in the rear of the whole." 

These orders were executed on the 18th, when 
they reached Lord Cornwallis' encampment, and 
then, as it appears, General Leslie issued his last 
order. (See Appendix, Orders for January 18, 1781.) 

His lordship had his arrangements all now made, 
and moved forward under the stimulus of Tarleton's 
late defeat. His direct or first object was, if possi- 
ble, to overtake General Morgan and cut him off, 
or, at all events, rescue the prisoners ; but an ulterior 
and more important object was, to get between 
General Greene and Virginia. This design was 
formed some time before, and was deemed essential, 
as Steclman tells us, " to the maintenance of the 
British authority in the South." The British army 


now proceeded to the north-west, between Broad 
river and the Catawba. This route, leading to the 
back-country, was chosen, that the army might the 
more easily be enabled to pass the great rivers in 
its way at the fords near their source. It also 
afforded a prospect of cutting off Morgan's retreat, 
if he should elude Tarleton, or at least of prevent- 
ing his junction with the army under General 
Greene. Nor was the British General without 
hopes that, by following this course, he might get 
between Greene's army and Virginia, and force him 
to an action before he was joined by his expected 

Early on the morning of the 19th, the whole 
army took up the line of march for the Old North 
State, as appears from the order issued by Lord 
Cornwallis the night before. {See Appendix, Orders 
for January 18, 1781. 

Sanders' plantation appears to have been their 
last encampment in South Carolina ; and in conse- 
quence of the above general orders, issued on the 
night of the 20th, the army, on the 21st, which was 
Sunday, crossed the line and entered North Carolina; 
but the place of their encampment is not mentioned. 
{See Appendix, Orders for January 19-23, 1781.) 

The former site of Tryon Court House was only 
a few miles, in a western direction, from the present 
town of Lincolnton ; but the name of Governor 
Tryon, in honor of whom, the name was, at first, 
given to a large territory including several of our 
present counties, having now become odious to the 
people of North Carolina, the Legislature, in 1779, 


two years before the time of which we are writing, 
divided Try on county, to the western part of which 
they gave the name of Rutherford, in honor of Gen. 
Rutherford ; and to the eastern part, lying on the 
Catawba river, the name of Lincoln, in honor of 
Gen. Lincoln, who was then engaged in the defence 
of South Carolina. The court house or county town 
was called Lincolnton ; and to that his lordship re- 
fers in the next order, as the village where there 
was plenty of good leather and other articles which 
they very much needed. (See Appendix, Orders 
for January 26, 27, 28, 1781.) 

Why they remained three or four days at Ram- 
sour's when in such hot pursuit of Gen. Morgan, we 
cannot tell, unless it was necessary to rest and re- 
fresh his men after a hard march of more than a 
week; but while there Cornwallis destroyed his 
heavy baggage and made preparations for a more 
rapid pursuit, of which Stedman, who was com- 
missary for the army, gives the following account. 

" Previously to the arrival of the British troops 
on the banks of the Catawba, Lord Cornwallis con- 
sidering that the loss of his light troops could only 
be remedied by the activity of the whole army, re- 
solved to destroy all the superfluous baggage. By 
first reducing the size and quality of his own, he set 
an example which was cheerfully followed by all the 
officers under his command, although by so doing 
they sustained considerable loss. No wagons were 
reserved except those loaded with hospital stores, 
salt and amunition, and four empty ones for the 
accommodation of the sick or wounded. And such 


was the ardor of both officers and men, and their 
willingness to submit to any hardship for the pro- 
motion of the service ; that this arrangement, which 
deprived them of all future prospect of spirituous 
liquors, was acquiesced in without a murmur." 

In a note at the bottom of the page he tells us 
that, "the remainder of the wagons," that is, all 
except those which were loaded with hospital stores, 
salt and amunition, and four empty ones reserved 
for the sick or wounded, " were destroyed at Kam- 
sour's mill." 

The last order must have been issued early on the 
morning of the 28th ; for on that day, they advanced 
to the Catawba or near it, as appears from the order 
book, and remained there about three days. {See 
Appeyidix, Orders for January 28, 29, 1781.) 

On arriving at the river his lordship was sadly 
disappointed to find that the object of his pursuit was 
on the other side, and that for the present his own 
progress was arrested by an unseen agency which the 
power of man could not resist : so says Stedman, 
" From Broad river, Morgan directed his course to 
the Catawba, and moved with so much celerity that 
he reached it before the British army. Yet so 
closely had he been pursued, that the advance of the 
British troops arrived at the banks of that river in 
the evening of the 29th of Januarjr, only two hours 
after the last of Morgan's corps had crossed. A 
heavy rain that fell in the night, swelled the river so 
much as to render it impassable the next morning ; 
and, as it continued so for two days, Morgan had 
time to make an arrangement for disencumbering 


himself of the prisoners and sending them off under 
an escort of militia by a different route from that 
which he proposed to take " 

In the University Magazine, has been recently 
published an account of the military operations in 
North Carolina during the period of which we are 
writing, by Gen. Graham, which is a most impor- 
tant addition to our revolutionary history, in which 
he tells us that Gen. Morgan sent his prisoners 
under an escort of his militia across the Catawba at 
the island ford, but that he himself with the regu- 
lars crossed at Sherill's ford. Morgan intended to 
send his prisoners, under a guard of militia, over the 
mountains, in which case they must have been over- 
taken and recaptured by the British light troops. 

In the mean time, Gen. Greene, having heard 
of the victory at the Cowpens, and of Cornwallis 
march in pursuit of the victor, wished to have an 
interview with Morgan as soon as practicable. For 
this purpose, leaving his army, encamped on the 
eastern side of the Pedee, under the command of 
Gen. Huger and Col. Williams, he set out with an 
escort of dragoons and, after travelling with great 
expedition, arrived at Morgan's camp on the last 
day of January. Lossing, after noticing the rise in 
the river, which prevented the British from crossing, 
says, " The arrival of Greene at this juncture was 
equally providential ; for Morgan had resolved upon 
a line of retreat which must have proved fatal. 
Greene interposed counter orders, and the whole 
army was saved." Being thus relieved from the 
care of his prisoners, Morgan could now employ the 


five hundred regulars under his command in guard- 
ing the fords of the Catawba ; and Gen. Greene 
made every possible effort to rally the militia of that 
region for the defence of the country, and among 
other measures, wrote to Col. Lock, of Eowan, a 
most earnest and patriotic letter. As Locke was 
soon after killed at Torrence's tavern, his papers fell 
into the hands of the enemy, and, for the gratifica- 
tion of such of our readers as may not see that work, 
we copy it from Tarlton's history. 

General Greene to Colonel Locke. 

11 Beanie's Ford, January 31, 1781. 

" Sir : — The enemy are laying on the opposite 
side of the river, and, from every appearance, 
seem determined to penetrate the country. Gen. 
Davidson informs me he has called again and 
again for the people to turn out and defend their 
country. The inattention to his call and the back- 
wardness of the people is unaccountable. Provi- 
dence has blessed the American arms with signal 
success in the defeat of Tarlton, and the surprise of 
Georgetown, by Col. Lee with his legion. If, after 
these advantages, you neglect to take the field, and 
suffer the enemy to overrun the country, you will 
deserve the miseries ever inseparable from slavery. 
Let me conjure you, my countryman, to fly to arms, 
and to repair to head-quarters without loss of time, 
and bring with you ten days' provisions. You 
have everything that is dear and valuable at stake. 
If you will not face the approaching danger, your 


country is inevitably lost. On the contrary, if you 
repair to arms, and confine yourselves to the duties of 
the field, Lord Cornwallis must be certainly ruined. 
The Continental army is marching with all possible 
despatch from the Pedee to this place ; but, without 
your aid, their arrival will be of no consequence. 
" I am, Sir, your humble servant, 

"Nath. Greene." 
" Col. Locke." 

With all the efforts made it was found impracti- 
cable, on the spur of the occasion, to raise militia 
enough in the counties of Eowan and Mecklenburg, 
brave and patriotic as they were, to resist the pro- 
gress of the British army. There were so many 
fords, some four or five within as many miles of each 
other, to guard all of which would have required 
a considerable army ; the country was extensive and 
thinly settled, it being near forty miles between the 
rivers from east to west, and near a hundred from 
north to south ; the men of that region had been 
much in the public service during the previous 
year, beginning with the defence of Charleston, and 
having been engaged - in nearly all the battles and 
skirmishes afterwards, in both North and South 
Carolina, by which conflicts, and by exposure in a 
sickly climate, they had lost many of their men and 
several of their most valuable officers. With all 
these facts before us, we cannot think it strange 
that men enough could not be brought together, in 
so short a time, to withstand the progress of a 
veteran army, and the country must submit to the 


ravages of a victorious enemy. Cornwallis, finding 
that there was no longer any obstruction in his 
way, either from high waters, or an armed force, 
that could not be overcome, determined to cross 
the river on the 1st of February, and on the 31st of 
January gave his orders accordingly. — (See Appen- 
dix, Orders for January 31, 1781.) 

Although the order for the time of marching 
seems to have been changed two or three times, 
and although the last order in the book was half 
after two o'clock, they marched at one, and after 
encountering some difficulties, from the darkness of 
the night and the badness of the roads, they arrived 
at the river about the dawn of day ; but we will, in 
the first place, give the reader Stedman's account of 
this affair : ' ' That he might perplex the enemy, and 
draw off their attention from the real object, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Webster, with one division of the 
army, was detached to a public ford, called Beattie's, 
with orders to cannonade, and make a feint, as if he 
intended to force a passage; whilst Lord Cornwallis, 
with the other division, marched to a private ford 
near McCowan's, where the passage was to be in 
reality attempted. The division under Lord Corn- 
wallis marched from its encampment at one in the 
morning of the 1st of February, and reached the 
ford about dawn. The numerous fires seen on the 
opposite shore quickly convinced the British com- 
mander that this ford, although a private one, had 
not escaped the vigilance of the enemy. General 
Davidson, with three hundred militia, had been sent 
to guard it only the evening before. Nevertheless, 


Lord Cornwallis determined to proceed, and the 
passage was gallantly and successfully effected by 
the brigade of guards under General O'Hara. 
Plunging into the rapid stream, in many places 
reaching above the middle, and near five hundred 
yards wide, they marched on with the utmost steadi- 
ness and composure; and although exposed to the 
fire of the enemy, reserved their own, according to 
their orders, until they reached the opposite bank. 
The passage of the river was made in the following 
order. The light-infantry of the guards, led by 
Colonel Hall, first entered the water. They were fol- 
lowed by the grenadiers, and the grenadiers by the 
battalions, the men marching by platoons to sup- 
port one another against the rapidity of the stream. 
When the light-infantry had nearly reached the 
middle of the river, they were challenged by one 
of the enemy's sentinels. The sentinel having chal- 
lenged thrice, and received no answer, immediately 
gave the alarm by discharging his musket ; and the 
enemy's pickets were turned out. No sooner did 
the guide, who attended the light-infantry to show 
them the ford, hear the report of the sentinel's mus- 
ket, than he turned round and left them. This, 
which at first seemed to portend much mischief, in 
the end proved a fortunate incident. Colonel Hall, 
being forsaken by his guide, and not knowing the 
true direction of the ford, led the column directly 
across the river, to the nearest part of the opposite 
bank. This direction, as it afterwards appeared, 
carried the British troops considerably above the 
place where the ford terminated on the other side, 


and where the enemy's pickets were posted; so that 
when they delivered their fire the light- infantry 
were already so far advanced as to be out of the 
line of its direction, and it took place angularly 
upon the rear of the grenadiers, so as to produce no 
great effect. When General Davidson perceived 
the direction of the British column, he led his men 
to that part of the bank which faced it. But by 
the time of his arrival the light-infantry had over- 
come all their difficulties. They were getting out 
of the water and forming, and so soon as they had 
formed, quickly routed and dispersed Gen. David- 
son's militia, killing or wounding about forty of 
them. Gen. Davidson was the last of the enemy 
who remained upon the bank, and in mounting his 
horse to make his escape, received a mortal wound." 
On this, as on every other occasion, the great 
superiority of veteran and disciplined troops was 
manifest. Though wading through water waist 
deep, which was sweeping by them with a heavy 
current ; though deserted by their guide in the most 
difficult part of the ford, and facing an array of rifles 
on the opposite bank, they pressed on and reserved 
their fire, according to orders, until they got where 
they could form and act efficiently. Before reaching 
the river, "Owing to the intricacy of the roads and 
the darkness of the morning," Tarlton says, "one of 
the three pounders was overset, and for some time 
caused a separation of the 23d regiment, the cavalry 
and the artillery men from the main body," the other 
gun was by some means detained, so that they could 
make no use of their artillery in crossing. " Corn- 


wallis' horse was shot in the water," Stedman says, 
" but did not drop until he reached the bank. Gen. 
Leslie's horses were carried by the rapidity of the 
stream some distance down the river, until his 
groom got upon a rock and held them. O'Hara's 
horse rolled over with him in the water, which 
caused the brigadier to get thoroughly wet, but he 
received no other injury." 

In regard to the number of killed and wounded on 
both sides, accounts vary. The British historians 
say that they killed and wounded about forty of 
the Americans ; but this is contradicted on what we 
consider good authority. Gen. Graham, who was 
present on the occasion and took a very active part, 
in the latter years of his life, wrote an account of 
the military operations in North Carolina, during 
that period, which has been recently published in 
the University Magazine, and forms a most valuable 
addition to our revolutionary history. He says, 
"we had only four killed, including Gen. Davidson, 
and none wounded or taken." Tarlton and Sted- 
man admit that they had four killed including Col. 
Hall, and thirty-six wounded. Gen. Graham says, 
" The enemy's loss as stated in the official account 
published in the Charleston Gazette, two months 
after, was Col. Hall of the guards, and another 
officer and twenty-nine privates, thirty-one in all, 
killed and thirty-five wounded. They left sixteen 
who were so badly wounded they could not be taken 
along, at Mr. Lucas', (the nearest farm,) and a sur- 
geon under protection of a flag was left with them. 
Two wounded officers were carried on biers and 


such of the other wounded as could not walk were 
hauled in wagons. Some of their dead were found 
down the river some distance, lodged in fish traps 
and in brush about the banks, on rocks, &c. An 
elegant beaver hat, made agreeably to the fashion 
of those times, marked inside, ' The property of Josiah 
Martin, Governor J was found ten miles below. It 
never was explained by what means his Excellency 
lost his hat. He was not hurt himself." As the 
British, when deserted by their guide before it was 
fully light, left the ford and took a direction which 
brought them to the bank two or three hundred 
yards further up the stream, the main body of Gen. 
Davidson's men could not be properly formed and 
ready for action until they were attacked, when a 
volley of musketry and a charge with the bayonet 
threw them into disorder and they fled in confusion. 
Captain, afterwards Gen. Graham's little company of 
some fifty men was the only one on the ground pro- 
perly formed, and though sorely galled by the enemy, 
it covered the retreat, or, at least, gave some protec- 
tion to their retreating countrymen. "W hether all was 
done that might have been done under the circum- 
stances to prevent the enemy from crossing, or 
whether there was any lack of vigilance and any ne- 
glect of preparation for defence that was practicable, 
we need not inquire. There was certainly no lack 
of patriotism and, under all the circumstances, per- 
haps no deficiency of courage. Gen. Davidson with the 
main body, was about half a mile from the ford, and 
when the firing was heard he hastened to the place, 
accompanied by Col. William Polk, and the Kev. 


Thomas McCaule, who was one of the most eloquent 
and patriotic men of that day. Gen. Davidson was 
killed, not by the British, bnt by Frederick Hager, 
a German Tory, who had piloted the British across 
the river, as was generally believed ; and he was 
killed in Dr. McCorcle's great coat, which, owing to 
some casualty, he had borrowed the day before. 

As soon as the militia was dispersed, Cornwallis 
sent off Tarlton at the head of the dragoons and the 
23d regiment, to attack the rear of the Americans, at 
Beattie's ford, if they were making any resistance to 
Webster ; but an advanced party soon brought in 
two or three prisoners who informed Tarleton that 
the guards at the different fords had left, and were 
making a precipitate retreat. His orders were, first 
to disperse the militia at Beattie's, if necessary, and 
then to patrol the country for the purpose of getting 
information. On learning that the men had all fled 
he turned his course eastward; but the infantry 
were so impeded by the rain and bad roads that he 
left them posted five or six miles from Beattie's and 
pursued with the dragoons. When the men who 
retreated from Beattie's, and some from Cowan's, 
with many others and some South Carolina refugees, 
arrived at Torrence's tavern, being wet, cold and 
hungry, they halted and began to drink spirits very 
freely, carrying it out in pailfuls. A number of 
Whig families, who were flying with their most 
valuable effects in their wagons, had also collected 
there and all was confusion. The wagons and 
movers were in the lane, and the men were all in 
disorder when the alarm was given, " Tarleton is 


coming." In this emergency the men attempted to 
put themselves in an attitude of defence ; but before 
they were properly formed in line, Tarleton charged 
them with his dragoons and they fled in every direc- 
tion. Ten were killed, several of whom were old 
men unarmed, and a few were wounded. Tarleton, as 
he does with everything in which he was concerned, 
reported this as a very important affair. He says, 
" he found them prepared to receive him, but he 
resolved to hazard one charge ; and when he gave 
the order to advance, he told them to remember the 
Coivpens. Animated by this reproach, they made a 
furious onset, broke through the centre with irresis- 
tible velocity, killed near fifty on the spot, wounded 
many in the pursuit and dispersed about five hun- 
dred ;" but Stedman, a much more reliable authority, 
says, " A British officer who rode over the ground 
not long after the action, relates that he did not 
see ten dead bodies of the provincials in the whole." 
In this skirmish, Tarleton admits that seven of his 
men were killed and wounded, and that twenty 
horses fell by the first fire of the Americans. After 
pursuing a short distance the dragoons returned and 
made great destruction of the property in the wagons 
of the movers, ripping up beds and strewing the 
feathers until the lane was covered with them, and 
everything else they could destroy was used in the 
same manner. 

The Whigs were now so dispirited and scattered 
that they made no further attempt to resist the pro- 
gress of the British. The men under Morgan 
retreated with as much haste as possible towards 


the Yadkin, and Cornwallis prepared for an eager 
pursuit. Having dried themselves and cooked their 
breakfasts, buried their dead and made arrange- 
ments for their wounded, the main body under 
Cornwallis moved up towards the road leading from 
Beattie's ford, and Webster having crossed there in 
the course of the day, joined them in the evening. 
Tarleton also returned with his corps and it again 
formed a unit at the cross roads, where they en- 
camped. They burned Torrence's house and the 
houses of some other prominent Whigs in that 
region ; but these were outrages perpetrated by a 
licentious soldiery, and for the manner in which they 
were regarded by his lordship, the reader is referred 
to the order book. (See Appendix, Orders for Feb- 
ruary 1, 2, 3, 1781.) 

Morgan kept his distance, and again made a most 
fortunate escape. He reached the trading ford on the 
Yadkin in the night, between the second and third 
of February, and with the assistance of all the boats 
that could be collected, completed the passage of 
his corps with their baggage by the following 
evening, except only a few wagons left under an 
escort of riflemen. The riflemen, after a slight 
resistance, fled under cover of the night, and their 
wagons were of course taken. 

The American cavalry had passed by the ford of 
the river, but a heavy rain that fell during the day 
rendered the river impassable by the next morning ; 
the same rain, by swelling the creeks and increasing 
the badness of the roads, had also retarded General 
(yilara on his march, and thus Morgan's detach- 


ment from fortunate incidents, had another hair- 
breadth escape." 

On the 3d of February, the day on which Morgan 
crossed the river, Cornwallis reached Salisbury, 
where Tarleton says, "some emissaries informed 
him that Gen. Morgan was at the Trading Ford, 
but had not passed the river: Brigadier- General 
O'Hara was directed to march to that place, with 
the guards, the regiment of Bosc, and the cavalry. 
Owing to rain, darkness, and bad roads, the troops 
did not arrive at the Yadkin till near midnight. 
After a skirmish, it was discovered that Morgan's 
corps had crossed in the evening, leaving a detach- 
ment of riflemen to protect some wagons and stores 
belonging to country people, who were flying with 
their effects, to avoid the British army. Gen. 
O'Hara, having made a fruitless effort to get pos- 
session of the flats and large boats upon the river, 
took post with the infantry on the ground which 
commanded the ford and the ferry, and sent back 
the cavalry to Salisbury. A heavy rain swelled the 
Yadkin the succeeding day and night, and General 
Morgan remained on the eastern bank, facing the 

The old hero of the Cowpens must have felt a 
peculiar pleasure, when standing on the eastern 
bank of the Yadkin, then swollen into a mighty 
river, he could look in defiance at his disappointed 
enemies on the other side, and feel secure while an 
impassable flood of waters was rolling between 
them. The riflemen crossed at another place and 
rejoined their comrades. It has been said, that a 


few cannon shot were tired at a log cabin on the eas- 
tern side, in which the General was writing, but 
they neither stopped his pen nor disturbed his 
equanimity. The boats were all secured on the 
eastern side, and the impatient earl was compelled 
to wait for the falling of the river. 

Gen. Greene's army, or fragment of an army, had 
encamped about a mile from the court-house, to the 
east or north-east, and he lodged in the house of Mrs. 
Steel, where he was kindly entertained ; and while 
there, with a generosity which will cause her name 
to be remembered with honor for generations to 
come, she presented him with a purse of gold, 
which was a considerable relief in his necessitous 
circumstances ; but the effect on his spirits was 
worth ten times as much as the commercial value 
of the coin. The British army encamped, if I am 
not mistaken, from the 3d to the 6th of February, 
within two or three hundred yards of the court- 
house, but more to the north ; during which time, 
Lossing says, "the officers were hospitably enter- 
tained by Dr. Anthony Newman, notwithstanding 
he was a Whig. There, in the presence of Tarleton 
and others, Dr. Newman's two little sons were 
engaged in playing the game of the battle of the 
Cowpens with grains of corn, a reel grain represent- 
ing the British officers, and a white one, the Ameri- 
cans. Washington and Tarleton were particularly 
represented, and as one pursued the other, as in a 
real battle, the little fellows shouted, hurrah for 
Washington, Tarleton runs ! Hurrah for Washing- 
ton ! Tarleton looked on for awhile, but becoming 


irritated, lie exclaimed, " See the cursed little 

During their stay in Salisbury, nothing occurred 
worthy of notice, except the depredations committed 
on the property of the citizens by the soldiers, and 
by the negroes who, having fled from their masters 
to the British army, at different points along the 
route, were accompanying it on the march, and many 
of them with arms in their hands, as we learn from 
the Order Book. The orders appear to have been 
issued at the river by Gen. O'Hara, and in Salisbury 
by Lord Cornwallis." — {See Appendix, Orders for Feb- 
ruary 4, 5, 6, 1781.) 

In the order, which was issued on the night 
of the 6th for the morning of the 7th, even the 
place of encampment is not mentioned, and every- 
thing betokens the utmost haste and vigilance. On 
the 7th, the day after leaving Salisbury, they crossed 
the Yadkin at the Shallow Ford, and probably took 
up their encampment near the river ; but from this 
time until they reached the Eoanoke, the place of 
his lordship's head-quarters is not more than once 
or twice mentioned in the Order Book. — {See Ap- 
pendix, Orders for February 7, 8, 1781.) 

From the disposition of the inhabitants for some 
distance on the east side of the river, and from their 
industrious habits, the British expected a friendly 
reception and an ample supply of their wants ; nor 
were they much disappointed ; but they were not 
altogether unmolested; for Captain Graham, with 
his little troop, killed and captured seven of their 
men not far from the river. 


They were now in the midst of the Moravian 
territory, where they neither feared an enemy, nor 
"lacked any good thing;" but for the manner in 
which they fared among this humane and inoffen- 
sive people, we refer to Tarleton, who says, " The 
mild and hospitable disposition of the inhabitants, 
being assisted by the well cultivated and fruitful 
plantations in their possession, afforded abundant 
and seasonable supplies to the king's troops during 
their passage through this district;" but he does 
not tell us how these supplies were obtained ; 
whether by purchase and the consent of the owners, 
or by force of arms and to the great distress of 
these industrious and excellent people. 

During the war of Independence, the Moravians 
felt themselves peculiarly situated", and endeavored 
to act with the caution which their circumstances 
seemed to require. They were as much of a unit 
as a community scattered over the whole world 
could be — A Unitas Fratrum ; and most of their 
real estate is held in common. They had societies 
in England and in most parts of Europe. Only a 
small part of the fraternity were in this country, 
and if they took part, and we failed to gain • our 
independence, they feared that their possessions 
would be forfeited. As a community, therefore, 
they thought it most prudent to wait the issue, and 
take no active part with either. Moreover, as a 
community, they were then, bona fide, opposed to 
all war and bloodshed ; but their views on this 
subject are now so much modified, that while they 
are still, like most other Christians, opposed to 


any other wars than such as are properly defen- 
sive, they would turn out for the defence of the 
country, should it be necessary, with as much 
promptness and resolution as any other class of 

But notwithstanding their purpose, as a com- 
munity, to take no active part, and to which they 
seem to have adhered with much consistency, as 
individuals they had their preferences, and their 
feelings on the subject of American independence, 
were not entertained altogether in silence. In some 
of the towns, they were rather in favor of the 
British; and in Salem, owing to the influence of 
Marshall, their head man, they were generally so; 
but in Bethany, now called Hoozertown, or with 
the German orthography, Hausertown, they were 
almost to a man, in favor of independence. They 
had suffered much from the depredations of the 
Tories in the surrounding country, which only 
increased their American feeling, but their senti- 
ments were no doubt known to Cornwallis, which 
caused them to be treated with more rudeness by 
officers and men. 

Leaving Lindsey's on the morning of the 9th, the 
British directed their course to Hoozertown, where 
they arrived about noon, and remained till next 
morning. The officers took possession of the 
houses, and in their revelry, treated the inoffensive 
inhabitants with a great deal of roughness. 

As there was a considerable quantity of spirits in 
the village, and several distilleries in the immediate 
vicinity, while there was no American force within 


reach that could give them any uneasiness, nearly 
the whole of them, officers and soldiers alike, got so 
royally drunk, that five hundred sober and resolute 
men could have taken the whole without any diffi- 
culty. The encampment was a little out of the vil- 
lage, but while the principal officers were there 
enjoying themselves, the soldiers and subalterns 
took the liberty to come in for spirits, and they all 
got happy together, except, perhaps, his lordship, 
who kept sober enough to observe what was going 
on. This incident, which was related to me, only a 
few years ago, by some of the good people in 
Salem, is still fresh in the traditions of that commu- 
nity, and it seems to be confirmed by the next 
general order. (See Ajipendix, Orders for February 9, 

The following anecdote, which was related to me, 
some fourteen or fifteen years ago, by a citizen of 
Salem, is not only amusing, but illustrative of the 
treatment which the people of the country received 
from the British soldiery. Pleavy exactions were 
made on all the Moravian towns, but the citizens of 
Hoozertown fared worse than the others — partly 
because they were known to be in favor of indepen- 
dence, and partly because the officers, as well as the 
soldiers, were " in their cups," and therefore more 
reckless in their conduct. 

It was determined to make all the men in the vil- 
lage drink the health of King George ; and his lord- 
ship, if he had anything more in view than amuse- 
ment, probably thought, that if he did not get them 
in this way fairly committed, he would at least 


mortify their feelings, and thus punish them a little 
for their rebellious spirit. So, having got the lead- 
ing ones together, he, or one of his officers, holding 
a bottle in his hand, told them that they must all 
drink the health of King George; and he began 
with old Hoozer, who was a leading character among 
them. Having no good will to the king, and not 
wishing to act hypocritically, when the bottle was 
presented, he refused ; but the officer told him that 
if he did not he would run his sword through him. 
This was placing the honest old Dutchman in a pre- 
dicament which he did not expect, and for which he 
was not prepared. As the only altera ative was 
death or compliance, he reached out his hand very 
reluctantly for the bottle, and, as he drew it slowly 
towards his mouth, said, " Yell den, here is to de 
helt of King Chorge." Then putting the bottle to 
his mouth, and letting it gurgle a little, but taking 
care not to swallow any of its contents, he handed 
it back ; but as he did so, he turned his head over 
the other shoulder, and said to his friends, though 
in a voice which was heard by them alone, " And 
tarn him, he is nutting de better for dat." Encour- 
aged by his example, the rest all drank the health 
of King George in the same way, and all felt, no 
doubt, when it was done, that he was " nothing the 
better for that." His lordship, unconscious, we sup- 
pose, of the trick that had been played upon him, 
or upon his master at home, gave orders at night for 
leaving next morning. {See Appendix, Orders for 
February 9, 1781.) 

The next day he passed through Salem, where 


he, with the principal officers, remained only two or 
three hours, and where his demands were less 
oppressive ; but the citizens were much annoyed by 
the soldiery while passing through the town. In 
1854, I applied to Mr. Schweinitz, Clerk of the 
Society in Salem, for any facts contained in their 
records relative to the march of the British army 
through their settlements ; and, with much prompt- 
ness and courtesy, he sent me the following commu- 
nication, for which he has my sincere acknowledg- 
ments : 

" Salem, K C, June 8th, 1854. 
" Kev. E. W. Caruthers, 

Dear Sir : — I have examined the old papers in the 
archives, and extracted the following facts, which, 
although of no great importance, may prove of use 
to you : 

"No allusion to the story of the cook of the 
Brethren's house* is to be found in any of the nar- 

* A number of years ago, a citizen of Salem told me, that 
the principal cook of the Brethren's house was such an invete- 
rate Whig, that neither threats nor persuasion could prevail 
on him to prepare anything for Cornwallis and his staff to eat. 
Marshall, the head man of the town, used his influence, but in 
vain. The officers tried coaxing him, but he told them to go 
home, and stay there, and not be coming here to kill our peo- 
ple, destroy our property, and make us slaves to King George. 
They then threatened, in an angry tone, to cut him down with 
their swords ; but not one bite would the dogged old Dutch- 
man get for them. In 1854, I asked Mr. Schweinitz about 
this incident, and to that he alludes in the above letter. 


" 1781, February 5, 6 and 7. Militia-men, in small 
parties and in whole companies, passed through 

" February 8th. News was brought to Salem 
that Lord Cornwallis, with his army, had crossed 
the Yadkin at the Shallow Ford. 

" February 9th. Lord Cornwallis arrived at 
Bethany (Hausertown), with the whole British 
army, about noon, and encamped. 

" The houses were filled with British officers and 
their servants. Three hundred pounds of bread, 
one hundred gallons of whiskey, and all the flour 
to be found, were taken by the enemy. Sixty head 
of cattle, not to number sheep and poultry, were 
likewise seized upon. Twenty horses were de- 
manded, but could not be found in the village. 
Violent threats of many of the officers greatly 
alarmed the inhabitants, and universal consterna- 
tion pervaded the village. 

"February 10th. About 7 A. M., the enemy 
commenced to leave Bethany. The Colonel of artil- 
lery took seventeen horses, instead of the twenty 
demanded. The British passed through Bethabara 
(Old Town), and about 10, A. M., their dragoons 
entered Salem, followed by the main body of the 
army, which continued to pass through the town till 
4, P. M. Lord Cornwallis and staff remained about 
one hour in the town. After the main body of the 
troops had left Salem, stragglers committed many 
acts of theft and robbery in various parts of the 
town. The Brethren's house lost nine oxen; and 
from Bethabara, eighteen of their largest oxen had 


to be delivered to the British. The wagon belong- 
ing to the Brethren's house had to convey two loads 
of flour from the mill to the British camp at Fred- 
erick Miller's, about four miles from Salem. The 
camp extended from Miller's to Love's, about two 
and a half miles. The inhabitants of the Broad- 
bay settlement were greatly molested by straggling 
parties of the enemy, and were forced to surrender 
nearly all their cattle and fodder to their foraging 
parties. Fred. Marshall was in Salem at this time, 
having returned from Europe in 1780. 
" In haste, 

" Yours truly, 


From the Trading Ford, Gen. Greene, having 
only a few men with him, and not much encum- 
bered with baggage, took the road which was then 
commonly travelled from that place to Martinville, 
where he had directed Gen. Huger to meet him 
with the main body of the army. The course was 
the most direct, but the road was a very bad one. 
It was never much used after the war, but traces of 
it may still be seen. Crossing the road which now 
leads from Lexington to Salisbury, about four miles 
from the former place, in what is still called the 
Forohawk Old Field, though now in cultivation, it 
went by a place called Possumtown, and crossed the 
road now leading from Greensboro' to Salem, about 
a mile west of New Garden Meeting-House. Any 
one who has ever travelled through that part of the 
country, especially in the winter season, and was 


wide awake at the time, knows that it must then 
have been almost impassable, and that, with a heavy 
train of baggage, prudence would have dictated 
another route. 

The winter was not one of unusual cold. The 
one previous had been of unheard of severity, 
and so intense was the cold, that wagons and teams 
crossed the Yadkin on the ice, a thing unknown in 
this country before or since, until this present time, 
when they are crossing again, (January, 1856;) but 
the winter in which the British passed through the 
State was comparatively a mild one. There were 
frequent and heavy rains, and it generally cleared 
off with a "north-wester," which froze the top of 
the ground for two or three days, and thus, all the 
time, the roads were in a desperate condition. 
When the ground was frozen, they were exceed- 
ingly rough, and when they were thawed, the mud 
was so deep that they were almost impassable, either 
for infantry, or for artillery and baggage. 

When he came to Abbott's Creek Meeting-House, 
he halted two or three days to rest his troops, or, 
perhaps to wait for further developments. He 
made his head-quarters at the house of Col. Spurgen, 
who was in good circumstances, and lived about a 
mile from the church. He was a Tory Colonel, one 
of those commissioned by Gov. Martin, about the 
beginning of 1776, and had taken quite an active 
part in favor of the royal cause. Of course, he was 
not at home to receive his guest, and " treat him to 
the best he had ;" but his wife, Mary Spurgen, was 
as true a Whig as her husband was a Tory, and, 


like Mrs. Steel, in Salisbury, she showed him all the 
kindness, and gave him all the encouragement in 
her power. On arriving there, the first thing he 
did, was to select his ground for a battle, should it 
become necessary. It was a very eligible position, 
elevated, covered with a dense growth of large 
hickories, most of which are yet standing, and 
ample enough for all the evolutions that might be 
necessary, while he would have the buildings to 
protect him in case of emergency. As this locality 
was near the house, he told Mrs. Spurgen, that, if 
Cornwallis should overtake him, and compel him to 
fight, she must go into the cellar with her children, 
and remain there until the conflict was over ; but 
fortunately for her and for all concerned, the foe 
was still prevented from advancing by a higher 
power. iNot having heard a word, however, of 
Cornwallis, or of his movements, since he left the 
Trading Ford, he felt very anxious to know whether 
he would cross there, as soon as the river became 
fordable, and pursue him, or remain on that side 
for the purpose of bringing the country into subjec- 
tion, or cross higher up, with the view of getting 
between him and Virginia. 

In such circumstances, a man of his patriotism 
and indomitable energy of character, could not rest. 
There was too much at stake, and he was of too 
noble a spirit to remain long inactive or in a state 
of suspense, while danger of the most alarming 
kind was so near. Having no other means of 
information, and knowing Mrs. Spurgen's patriotic 
spirit, he asked her if she knew of any one in whom 


lie could put confidence, as lie wished to send such 
a one back to the river, for the purpose of pro- 
curing some information respecting the movements 
of Cornwallis. She told him yes, he could put con- 
fidence in her son John. Feeling encouraged by 
this answer, and, at the same time, like a prudent 
man, fully awake to the perils that beset him, he 
repeated the question, and with a great deal of 
earnestness : 

" Are you sure, Madam, that I can put confidence 
in John ?" 

"Yes, sir," was her prompt and womanly reply. 
"Yes, sir, you can put confidence in John, if he will 
consent to go, and I think he will." 

That was enough; and John was called. General 
Greene then told him what he wanted, — that he 
wished him to take his own horse and go back to 
the Trading Ford to see if he could find out any- 
thing about the movements of the British, and if 
he saw nothing of them there, to go up the river for 
a number of miles. He promptly consented, and set 
off at once. He rode a fine horse, and with proper 
vigilance, had not much to dread. On going to the 
river, he could neither see nor hear anything of 
them ; but, in obedience to orders, he went up a 
number of miles without any better success. He 
then returned and told Gen. Greene how far he had 
gone, but without obtaining the least information. 
Greene told him he must go again, for he must have 
the information, and he must have it soon ; and, if 
he saw nothing of them, to continue up the river to 
the Shallow Ford. Young Spurgen set out again, 


and on reaching the Shallow Ford, some thirty 
miles, more or less, from home, he found they were 
crossing. Then returning as fast as his horse could 
carry him, he reported that they were crossing at 
that ford. Instantly, Gen. Greene ordered his 
horse, and was off for Martinville, where he arrived 
on the evening of the 7th, and found Gen. Huger 
there, who had just arrived with the main body of 
the army. By this time, the designs of Cornwallis 
were manifest and Greene's situation admitted of no 
delay ; but perhaps we ought to observe how much 
service the wife and the son of a Tory Colonel, though 
a mere lad at the time, rendered at this critical 
juncture of affairs. 

The army was encamped on the hills around 
Martinville, but chiefly on the west side, where the 
battle was afterwards fought. Greene remained 
here between two and three days, resting his troops 
after their long and severe march from the Pedee, 
and in procuring the necessary supplies of provi- 
sions. When walking out on the west side of the 
village in company with Gen. Hamilton, and one or 
two other citizens, he remarked, that there was the 
ground on which he wished to give Cornwallis 
battle, provided he could be sufficiently re-enforced ; 
and he seems never to have lost sight of that as 
the destined scene of conflict. Did he make this 
selection because it was in a plentiful country and 
in a strong Whig neighborhood, or because it offered 
more conveniences for retreat, if that should be 
necessary ? Was it from some indefinable impres- 
sion on his own mind, or did his military genius 


perceive in it some local advantages which escape 
the notice of ordinary men ? At all events, the 
selection is generally believed to have been a good 
one ; and from his subsequent movements, it seems 
to have been his constant aim, as he gained strength, 
to draw his enemy to that point, but as Cornwallis 
was not more than twenty-five miles, if so much, 
behind him, and in hot pursuit, retreat was the 
order of the day; and from this time until he got 
into Virginia, where he could feel safe, all his 
powers, physical and mental, were taxed to the 
very utmost. 

This retreat was one of the most memorable on 
record, and we contemplate all the movements with 
a peculiar interest. Gen. Greene had only two 
thousand men, of whom five or six hundred were 
militia. Cornwallis had between twenty -five hun- 
dred and three thousand veteran troops who, com- 
pared with those of the Americans, were well fed, 
clothed and equipped. Morgan's corps had just 
marched from the Cowpens, one hundred and fifty 
miles ; and the main body under Gen. Huger, had 
marched from the Pedee, a hundred miles, over a 
desperate road, sometimes wading through mud, and 
sometimes crippling over frozen ground with feet so 
bare that their footsteps, it is said, were often marked 
with their blood. Such patient endurance and such 
patriotic firmness, in circumstances so trying, are 
without a parallel in history. 

In Martinville a council of war was held in which 
it was determined not to risk a battle with their 
inferiority of numbers, but to get over the Dan, if 


possible, where they would be safe for the present, 
and where they expected a reinforcement. Gen. 
Greene then formed a select corps, consisting of 
Lee's legion, the regular battalion of infantry under 
Col. Howard, the cavalry under Col. Washington, 
and a small corps of Virginia rifleman under Major 
Campbell, in all about seven hundred, the flower of 
the southern army. It was designed to manoeuvre 
in front of the British, and retard their progess as 
much as possible. The command of it was offered 
to Gen. Morgan ; but he was so worn down with 
fatigue, and so afflicted with rheumatism that he 
declined the honor, and it was given to Col. Otho 
II. Williams, of Maryland. Such a corps, under 
officers so vigilant and enterprising, could make a 
very effective resistance. On it depended the safety 
of the whole army, and nobly did they meet their 
responsibilities. Every man seems to have exerted 
himself to the utmost ; and Williams, if he had done 
nothing more, would have immortalized his name 
by this retreat. 

On the morning of the 10th, Williams took com- 
mand of his corps ; and the whole army took up 
the line of march for Erving's Ferry on the Dan, 
over seventy miles distant. Tarleton says that, " Gen. 
Greene removed the stores and heavy baggage into 
Virginia, under an escort of militia, and hastened 
with the remainder of his troops to the Dan." While 
Cornwallis "proceeded towards the head of Haw 
river, wishing to intercept the Americans and bring 
them to action south of the Koanoke." He seems 
to have felt convinced that, if he failed in this enter- 


prise lie might ultimately be compelled to leave the 
State, and perhaps have to give up the whole South ; 
but if he succeeded, the British authority would be 
re-established ; for if the southern army, then under 
Gen. Greene, could be defeated and dispersed, like 
that of Gates at Cambden, the confidence of the public 
would be so much impaired and the sources of the 
country so much exhausted that another could not 
be raised sufficient to make any effective resistance. 
For some distance the two armies moved on lines 
nearly parallel ; but any one acquainted with that 
region and with the roads through it, will see that 
this could not have continued more than two days, 
march, if so much. Gen. Greene, we believe, took 
the Flat rock road, and the British army, the 
Danville road. On the night of the 10th, Cornwallis 
had his head-quarters at Fred. Miller's, four and a 
half miles from Salem, while the encampment, Mr. 
Schweinitz says, extended to Love's, two and a half 
miles further, which would make the front about 
seven miles from Salem ; and his orders, from this 
onward show an impatience of delay. (See Appendix, 
Orders for February 10, 1781.) 

On the night of the 11th they encamped, accord- 
ing to tradition, near the place where Sanders' Mill 
now stands, and the next night they were atBruce's, 
which was a short day's march; but they were 
detained for some time in the morning by repairing 
the bridge over the creek, which the Whigs had 
broken down ; and again, in the afternoon, by bury- 
ing their dead who had been killed in the skirmish 
with Col. Lee, about one o'clock. 


During this day, the 12th, a skirmish took place 
near Bruce's Cross Eoads, between the corps of Lee 
and Tarleton. Bruce then lived about half a mile 
south from the Cross Eoads which still bear his 
name, and was a farmer in good circumstances. 
Lee had stopped there about noon for breakfast, 
and when the much needed repast was about ready, 
Isaac Wright, a countryman, came in, much excited, 
and told them that he had seen a number of the 
British dragoons not more than two or three miles 
up the road. Without waiting to break their fast, 
though in great need of it, Lee sent off a small 
detachment under Capt. Armstrong, one of his most 
resolute and efficient officers, to ascertain the truth 
of the report, and made Wright go along ; but as 
he objected, because he was on a little, slow-gaited 
pony, he was allowed to exchange with the bugler, 
who rode a very fine horse, and who went with 
the party, from an apprehension that, by some 
trick or accident, he might lose his horse. Having 
gone about the distance at which Wright stated that 
he had seen them, Armstrong refused to go any 
further, accused the informant of making a false 
report, and threatened him with the consequences ; 
but he assured them, that although he might be a little 
mistaken in the distance, as he was frightened at the 
time, he had not deceived them, and if they would go 
a little further, he would convince them of the fact. 
The bugler and two others agreed to the proposal ; 
but they had not gone over a quarter of a mile until 
the report was verified. A squad of dragoons had 
halted at the side of the road, apparently to rest 


and, owing to a hollow or a turn in the road, they 
were not seen by the scout until they were close 
upon them, when the retreat and the pursuit in- 
stantly commenced. The other two had nothing to 
fear, but the bugler on his pony was soon over- 
taken and literally cut to pieces, amidst curses and 
imprecations, while begging for quarters. This in- 
human butchery was committed in a clump of large 
oaks, yet standing, or were a few years ago, not 
over two hundred yards from the house in which 
the Eev. Henry Tatum now lives ; but before they 
had quite finished their victim, Capt. Armstrong 
came up with the detachment under his com- 
mand, and a severe skirmish ensued ; seven of the 
enemy were killed, while the Americans lost none 
except the bugler, who was a mere boy, about 
eighteen. He was taken back and buried on Bruce's 
plantation. While Armstrong was thus disposing 
of his enemies, Tarleton with his whole corps, hav 
ing heard the firing, was seen approaching at full 
speed, and they were obliged to retreat with pre- 
cipitation. Probably anticipating the result, Lee, 
with his cavalry, had taken post at a favorable 
place near the road, where he was concealed and 
ready to act as circumstances might require. When 
Armstrong came dashing by with a large number 
of Tarleton's corps, under Capt. Miller, in hot pur- 
suit, he rushed into the road and made such a fierce 
attack upon them, that he completely broke their 
ranks and killed a number of them. Capt. Miller, 
whom Lee held responsible for the murder of his 
bugler, was taken prisoner, and would have been 


hung on the spot, but just at that moment the 
whole British van came in sight, and Lee sent him 
off to Gen. Greene as a prisoner of war. In this skir- 
mish, Lossing says, eighteen were killed — meaning, 
I presume, eighteen in all; but the Americans lost 
none except the bugler. Cornwallis came along an 
hour after, and buried his dead. 

When the party returned, Bruce sent off his wife 
and children under the care of his trusty old servant, 
Jack, to his father's, on Hogan's creek, and he him- 
self went along with Col. Lee. The British army, or 
a portion of it, probably the van-guard under Gen. 
O'lTara, encamped on the premises that night, and 
left them next morning a scene of desolation. They 
took all the provisions, grain, and forage they could 
find, burned the fences with all the out-buildings 
and were about to apply the torch to the dwelling- 
house when John and Richard Robinson, two Qua- 
kers, who lived in the neighborhood and were great 
friends to Mr. Bruce, came over just at the moment 
and persuaded them not to do it. The Quakers, 
then, went whenever they pleased and without fear, 
into the camp of either enemy ; and on this occasion 
they were the means of exerting a kindly influence 
on a ruthless soldiery, and of preventing the wanton 
destruction of property which might injure or dis- 
tress the inoffensive, but could be of no benefit to 

When Mrs. Bruce got to the house of her father- 
in-law, on Hogan's creek, about seven miles, where 
she arrived late in the evening, her good old ser- 
vant, Jack, told her he would go back and see 


what they were doing with his master's property. 
She tried to dissuade him, and told him that they 
would catch him and hang him, or carry him away ; 
but he said, "Oh no, no — no catcha he, no catch a 
he;" and he went back as fast as he could. His 
complexion corresponded so well with the darkness 
of the night, that he was enabled to crawl, unseen, 
all round their camp, and to approach within a few 
steps of their fires, where he could hear and see all 
he wanted. Having done so he returned and made 
a true report of what was doing, but it was not very 
grateful to her feelings. 

In identifying the place where the bugler was 
killed and where Lee had the skirmish with the 
British dragoons, I have followed what appears to 
have been the uniform tradition of the neighbor- 
hood, and have fixed the date accordingly. The 
Eev. Henry Tatum, now a man of very advanced 
age, married a daughter of Mr. Bruce, and has 
lived nearly all his life where he now lives, on the 
very ground which was the scene of conflict. A 
few years ago, both he and his old lady had a dis- 
tinct recollection of all these things as they had 
often heard them from her father and other old peo- 
ple in that region. Their opportunities of knowing 
had been good, and their character for truth was 
above suspicion. 

In the course of the day on which the bugler was 
killed, Lee had another encounter or sudden sur- 
prise, of which Lossing gives the following account : 
"Lee's troops had been deprived of their morning 
meal, which was half cooked when the countryman 


gave the alarm. By taking a road shorter and more 
secluded than the one passed by Williams, he hoped 
to gain time to dine at a well-stocked farm. He 
did not apprehend a surprise, for the road was only 
a by-way. He stationed a few videttes, however, to 
watch, and well he did. Just as the horses were 
about to partake of their provender, and the soldiers 
of corn-bread and bacon, the videttes fired an alarm 
and came dashing towards the main body. Battle 
or flight was the alternative. Before them was a 
swollen stream, spanned by a single bridge; to gain 
and hold this was an object of vital importance to 
Lee. His infantry were ordered to run and take 
possession of it, while the cavalry prepared to cover 
a retreat. The van of the British were surprised at 
this meeting, not being aware of the proximity of 
their foe, and while halting to receive orders, Lee's 
troops had an opportunity to pass the bridge. 

Where this bridge was, and over what stream, I 
have not been able to ascertain. There was then, 
and for several years after, a private bridge over 
Haw river, a few miles below the Danville road, and 
probably this was the one ; or it might have been on 
the Troublesome creek, but that was rather too 
far distant. The British quickly pursued, but the 
Americans, having the strongest and fleetest horses, 
outstripped their pursuers and were soon in the 
great road leading to Erving's Ferry. 

Tarleton says that, " on the road many skirmishes 
took place between the British and the American 
light troops ;" and it is said by others that they 
seldom shot at each other except across a turn in 


the road or when crossing a stream of water, though 
they were often in sight and sometimes within rifle 
shot. Occasionally, however, when the British were 
pressing too closely on them, they found it necessary 
to skirmish a little ; and in such cases, as Williams, 
was on the retreat, he could generally select his own 
ground. On one occasion of this kind, according to 
favorable tradition, having drawn up the whole of his 
men in a position, he made show of fight, and ap- 
peared very determined on making a stout resistance. 
The British, thinking they had not force enough to 
encounter him, sent back for two pieces of artillery 
and a reinforcement of men. In the corps of Wil- 
liams was a singular genius, by the name of Tom 
Archer, from the north-west corner of Guilford 
county, who, with some others, had probably joined 
them at Martinville, for the occasion. He was not 
remarkable for strength of intellect, but had some 
other qualities which admirably fitted him for the 
ever varying scenes of that arduous and perilous 
march. Eather above the medium height and well 
proportioned, bony, muscular and vigorous, he was 
always in his place and always ready for service. 
Though constantly on fatigue and exposed every 
hour to the most imminent dangers, he never com- 
plained or became discouraged. Frank and open 
hearted, with a good share of ready wit, and a good 
flow of spirits, he was the life of his comrades, and con- 
tributed not a little to their patient endurance of the 
toils and perils of the march. Inflexible in his pur- 
pose, when he thought he was right, and enthusiastic 
in the cause of freedom, rough in his manners, blunt 


in his language and never caring whether he " mur- 
dered the king's English," and made "Irish bulls," 
all the time or not, he was ever ready to be on the 
" forlorn hope," or take his turn at any kind of ser- 
vice. If to the above characteristics we add a great 
catfish mouth, a big stentorian voice, and a bushy 
head of hair that would hardly thank you for a hat, 
you have Tom Archer before you as large as life ; 
and probably the reader will think with the writer 
that, in some situations at least, such a man would 
be a very desirable friend ; but, at all times, a most 
undesirable enemy ; or in other words, that he would, 
if not wronged or provoked in any way, be as clever 
a fellow as could be found in his sphere of life, 
ready to divide his last ration with a comrade or 
risk his life for a friend, but would " fight his weight 
in wild cats " before he would suffer any man or 
any set of men to trample on his rights. Hunting- 
had been his delight from the time he was old enough 
to " draw a bead ;" and, with his fine rifle, which he 
always carried and always kept in good order, he 
hardly ever missed his aim at any distance within 
two hundred yards. 

When the artillery was brought up to its position 
in the road, Archer stepped out into the middle of 
the road, directly in front of the guns, and hailed them 
at the top of his big, strong voice, " Hallo, there — 
Mister, I wish you would take that ugly thing out 
of the road, or it may cause some trouble yet before 
all is over;" and then turning his head over his 
shoulder, said, to an officer standing by, " Captain, 


may I shoot that cussed rascal ? for he has no busi- 
ness there, no how." 

"No," said the captain, "not yet — wait till they 
are ready to apply the match ; for we want to detain 
them as long as we can." 

The enemy, of course, if they heard him at all, paid 
no attention, as they would take him for a drunken 
fool or some crack-brained mortal ; but while the 
preparations were making — Williams bringing up 
and marshalling his men, and the British doing the 
same — Archer stepped to the side of the road and 
stood there leaning against a tree, resting his gun 
with the butt on the ground, and in perfect silence, 
as if in a " brown study," or anticipating the plea- 
sure of the feat which he expected to perform, and 
keeping his eye steadily fixed on that " ugly thing," 
in the road. He had full confidence both in the gun 
and in himself ; and having now a good opportunity 
as he thought, he was anxious to make another trial. 
Fear, was a word which had no place in his vocabu- 
lary, and he was probably never more composed in 
his life, but waited for leave to shoot, with as much 
impatience as he ever waited for a fine buck to 
come along when pursued by the hounds. The time 
was short — a very few minutes ; and when he thought 
they were nearly ready to apply the match, he step- 
ped out into the middle of the road and hailed them 
again. " Hallo, there — Mister, I say you had better 
take that thing out of the road, or I'll be hanged if 
I don't shoot some of you." Then turning to the 
officer, said as before, " Captain, may I shoot that 



cussed rascal now; for tellin' don't do him one bit 
o' good ?" 

" Yes," said the captain, " and as quick as you can, 
for we have no time to lose." 

Having got permission, he clapped his rifle up 
against the side of the tree and taking sure aim with 
the quickness of an experienced hunter, and at the 
distance of about two hundred yards, when the gun 
cracked, a " red coat" fell. Then vaulting into the 
saddle, they all dashed off at full speed ; and being 
favored by a hollow or a turn in the road, they had 
just time to get beyond the reach of the grape shot 
before the "big gun," was fired. By this manoeuv- 
ring on the part of Williams the enemy were proba- 
bly detained an hour or two, which was no small 
advantage to the retreating army. 

The above anecdote I had, some years ago, from 
what I consider good authority, and the character 
of Archer is well known in this community. There 
are many yet living who, when they were young, 
were well acquainted with him and they all, when 
asked, gave me the same account. One old gentle- 
man replied to my inquiry with a laugh, that he had 
just sense enough to be "fool hardy;" but then he 
went on to give me his character more seriously, 
which agreed perfectly with that given by many 
others. He had considerable military spirit and got 
some office, that of captain, or one of lower grade ; 
but it was found that, with a courage that feared 
nothing, he lacked discretion. 

For the last two or three days, we find some diffi- 
culty in determining their route, and their daily 


stages. Tradition is very much at fault, and the 
Order Book gives do satisfaction, except in regard 
to dates. The orders are exceedingly brief, and 
specify only the hour when they should move in the 
morning, and the relative position of the different 
corps while on their march. (See Appendix, Orders 
for February 12, 13, 14, 1781.) 

Historians differ in regard to the day of the month 
on which the American army crossed the Dan. The 
British historians, Tarleton and Stedman, say that 
the whole army crossed on the 11th ; the latter of 
whom gives the following account : — " The Ameri- 
can troops, both the main and the light army, with 
the baggage, instead of meeting with any difficulty, 
were passed over with ease, at Boyd's and Erving's 
Ferries, in the course of a single day^ — the fourteenth 
of February. The light army, which was the last 
in crossing, was so closely pursued, that scarcely 
had its rear landed, when the British advance 
appeared on the opposite bank, and in the last 
twenty-four hours it is said to have marched forty 
miles." Eamsay says simply, that the army crossed 
on the fourteenth ; but most other historians of this 
country say, that the main body crossed on the thir- 
teenth and the light troops the next evening. As 
the Order Book was kept from day to day, we sup- 
pose that the dates in it are correct, and must settle 
the question. With the aid of tradition, and the 
Order Book before us, we think their progress may 
now be traced with tolerable accuracy ; and for this 
purpose, let us take a bird's-eye view of it for the 
last five days. 


On the night of the 10th, their encampment was 
at Miller's, four or five miles from Salem. On the 
11th, it was about where Sanders' mill now stands, 
and on the 12th, it was at Bruce's. On the 13th, at 
the Speedwell Iron Works, and on the 14th, at Lo- 
cust Hill. From Martinville, General Greene, it 
seems, went north a few miles, and took the Flat 
Rock road, which would take him into the road by 
the High Rock, about Lenox's Castle. I am told 
that he camped one night on Lick Fork Creek, 
where he expected to be overtaken, and in the morn- 
ing drew up his army for battle, on the high ground 
near the creek ; but the enemy did not appear. 
Cornwallis, with the view of keeping between 
Greene and Virginia, as far as he could, took the 
road by what is now known as Lawson's Store and 
Bethany Church, near which there was some skir- 
mishing between the British advance and the Ameri- 
can light troops under Williams. 

For the sake of comfort, we suppose, his lordship 
went across, about a mile, to Mrs. Dumitt's (since 
Brown's Store, and now Locust Hill), on the High 
Rock road, while the army were encamped on the 
high ground, about a mile, or perhaps a little more, 
to the north-east, and near the junction of the two 
roads. From this place, I am told, it is about 
twenty-five miles to Erving's ferry, and at dark, on 
the evening of the loth, the British van arrived at 
Boyd's, a few miles above. About noon of that day, 
or a little after, a courier arrived, with a letter from 
General Greene to Colonel Williams, informing him 
that he had passed the Dan on the preceding day — 


the 14th, as we suppose — at three in the afternoon- 
The race had been long and the pursuit close ; the 
last night was dark, cold and drizzly. As the 
British were close in their rear, and pressed on until 
in the night, Lee and Williams were obliged to do 
the same. About eight o'clock at night, they were 
alarmed by the appearance of camp fires a mile 
ahead ; for, as they were ignorant of Greene's where- 
abouts, they supposed that it was his camp, and that 
he must be overtaken "by the British; but they 
found, on approaching, that they were the fires of 
Greene's camp two nights before, and had been kept 
burning by the people of the neighborhood. With 
their fears and anxieties thus relieved, they con- 
tinued their march until they were assured that the 
enemy had halted for the night, when they halted 
too, kindled their fires, and slept for three or four 
hours. Before the day dawned, their pursuers were 
again in motion ; and, notwithstanding their weari- 
ness, and the desperate condition of the roads, both 
armies pressed on — as that was the last day, and 
everything was at stake — allowing only one hour, 
in the fore-part of the day, for a scanty meal. But 
when a courier arrived at noon, " his horse all reek- 
ing with sweat," and bringing the glad tidings that 
the army had got safely over the Dan, a shout of 
joy went up from that noble band of patriots, which 
was heard, it is said, by O'Hara, and was regarded 
by Cornwallis as ominous ; but still he pressed for- 
ward. At three o'clock, Williams filed off towards 
Boyd's ferry, fourteen miles distant, and left Lee to 
manoeuvre in front of the enemy. Williams reached 


the ferrj before sunset, and at dark had his men all 
landed on the other side. "When about the place 
now known as the Red House, Lee sent his infantry 
on in advance, and moving off with his cavalry in 
the twilight, he pushed for the river, and finding, 
on his arrival, that the infantry had just crossed in 
boats, they turned their horses into the stream, and 
the men, in batteaux, were soon all landed in safety 
on the Virginia side. At Colonel Carrington's they 
found ample refreshment, and before midnight, they 
were wrapped in 

" Balmy sleep, tired nature's sweet restorer !" 

To expedite his march on the last clay as much as 
possible, according to his last order, Cornwallis dis- 
encumbered himself of everything he could, by 
leaving behind him, on the morning of the fifteenth, 
most of his baggage, and all the women, children, 
and men who were unfit for such a march ; but, not- 
withstanding, he met with a sad disappointment. 

We consider it then, a settled matter, that the 
main body under Gen. Greene, crossed the Dan 
on the 14th, and the light corps under Col. Williams, 
on the 15th; for, according to the Order Book of 
Cornwallis, it was certainly on the evening of the 
15th, that the British van arrived at Boyd's Ferry, 
and when they came in sight, the last of the light 
corps under Williams had just landed on the north 
side; nor is it less certain that Gen. Greene had 
crossed at Erving's Ferry the day before. As it 
was such a memorable event, the precise date is a 
matter of some interest, though not of very great 


importance ; and in this case, we regard the British 
authority as the best we have; for, as it was more 
than thirty years after when Col. Lee wrote his 
Memoirs, a mistake of one day in the date is not at 
all improbable. 

It has been said, that both armies averaged thirty 
miles a-day, which, if not an utter impossibility, is, 
under all the circumstances, perfectly incredible. 
The facts are sufficiently romantic in themselves, 
without any exaggeration ; and the object of the 
historian should be simple verity. On the evening 
of the 10th, Cornwallis was about ninety -five miles 
from Erving's Ferry, and therefore, although by 
disencumbering himself of almost everything on the 
last day, and by starting at 4 o'clock, two hours 
before dawn, he made twenty-five miles a-day, for 
he marched ninety-five miles in five days, which 
was an average of just nineteen miles a-day. Gen. 
Greene, who, when at Martinville, was about a good 
day's march ahead of his lordship, kept his dis- 
tance, and very little, if any more. We do not 
know precisely when he got to the river, nor how 
long the army was in crossing, but with the main 
body, we suppose he averaged about twenty miles 
a-day, and when everything is considered, that 
almost surpasses belief. I have travelled the road, 
from the Catawba river nearly to Erving's Ferry, 
repeatedly, and in the dead of winter, sometimes on 
horseback, and sometimes in a common buggy, and 
I know that, on a large portion of the road, and 
with such frequent and heavy rains as they had, the 
infantry would have to wade through mud shoe- 


mouth, or ankle deep, while the baggage-wagons 
and artillery-carriages would be cutting in half-way 
to the hubs, and sometimes sticking fast in the mud, 
when they would have to be pryed up, and even then 
could sometimes get through only by doubling-teams. 
From the Cowpens to Erving's Ferry, on the cir- 
cuitous or zigzag route which they travelled, could 
be very little, if any, less than two hundred and 
fifty miles; and, "from start to pole," both armies 
endured privations and hardships, which even a 
lively imagination could not picture before us. The 
Americans were the greatest sufferers : their shoes 
were worn out, and the clothes they had on were 
much tattered ; they had only one blanket to four 
men, and after leaving Martinville, the tents were 
never used. The light troops had one blanket to 
three men, which was very little better; and the 
troops were allowed only one meal in the day. In 
addition to all this, remember that, without shoes, 
as they were, their feet were often cut by the frozen 
ground, so that their footsteps were often marked 
with their blood ; and we cannot but admire their 
patient endurance. Yet there was no spirit of 
mutiny, and not a sentinel deserted his post. There 
was no shrinking from their toils and perils, and no 
faultering in their purpose to be free or die. After 
crossing the river, Gen. Greene sent a despatch to 
Jefferson, the Governor of Virginia, in which he 
says, " On the Dan river, almost fatigued to death, 
having had a retreat to conduct for upwards of two 
hundred miles, manoeuvring constantly in the face 
of the enemy, to give time for the militia to turn 


out and get off our stores ;" and in his note to Col. 
Williams, informing him that he had crossed the 
Dan, he declared that he had not slept more than 
four hours since he left Guilford. The British, if 
they were not better fed than the Americans, had 
much better clothing and equipments of every kind. 
Their hardships and sufferings, however, were im- 
mense ; but officers and men alike, bore them all 
with astonishing fortitude and patience, in the hope 
of .overtaking Gen. Greene, and thus putting an end 
to the war at once. 

The Americans were actuated by noble senti- 
ments, and noble sentiments make noble men. 
Amidst all their privations and hardships, they 
kept good heart, and being animated by the love of 
liberty, they never despaired of final success. At a 
time when we would suppose they were so dis- 
pirited and worn down that nothing hardly could 
raise a smile, they only cracked their jokes and 
"laughed away care." They were withal, a merry 
set of fellows ; and, as amusing things were of fre- 
quent occurrence, we love to give an anecdote 
occasionally, illustrative of military life in such 
circumstances, and of the manner in which they 
kept up their spirits. 

When Gen. Greene was taking his troops across 
the Dan, he had a common soldier from Guilford 
County, by the name of John M'Bride, who had 
charge of the boats, or some portion of them. 
M'Bride, now about twenty-three or twenty-four 
years of age, was a blacksmith, and, after getting 
clear of his apprenticeship, had spent a year or two 


in Fayetteville, where he had probably learned to 
manage such water craft on the Cape Fear, and for 
this reason, we presume, he had the honor of boat- 
captain given him on the present occasion. He was 
a small man, of slender proportions, below the 
medium height, and of a character which might 
have admitted the playful soubriquet of "Big Busi- 
ness." The last one who entered the last boat, was 
a large man, a little over six feet high, and of a 
very strong muscular frame. As he stepped in, he 
told M'Bride to go forward to the other end, and 
guide the boat to the landing, intending, as it ap- 
pears from the sequel, to manage that end himself. 
The order was given, not in an austere or super- 
cilious manner, but with the grave and firm tone of 
one who had been accustomed to command, and 
who felt that he had a right to be obeyed. M'Bride 
felt a little piqued that his prerogative should be 
thus unceremoniously encroached upon by a perfect 
stranger, and rather pertly replied, " Go and do it 
yourself; for, if I may judge from your appearance, 
you are much abler than I am." The big man said 
nothing, but very deliberately taking him with his 
left hand by the nape of the neck, and with his right 
by the seat of his breeches, hoisted him up above 
the heads of the men in the boat — os sublime dedit — 
and carried him along to the front end, where he 
set him down, and said, " Now, do you sit there and 
guide this boat to the landing." 

Then he returned to the stern, and carried out his 
original purpose. McBride, though he looked and 
felt as if he " couldn't help it," was obliged to be 


quiet. He kept trying to swallow the resentment 
which was all the time rising in his throat ; but 
could think of no way by which he might show his 
spunk, without subjecting himself to the danger, if 
not the absolute certainty of being thrown into the 
river, or handled more roughly in some other way. 
He did try, as he said afterwards, to run the boat 
below the landing, but the big man at the other end 
was so much stronger, that he brought it up to the 
right place in spite of him. After they all got out 
on the high ground, and were preparing for the 
encampment, he saw the big man, who had treated 
him so cavalierly in the boat, standing by himself, 
with his arms folded, and apparently absorbed with 
his own thoughts. Thinking that he could not let 
the affair pass altogether unnoticed, and judging this 
to be the most favorable opportunity he would have, 
he stepped up to him, with as much of a manly air 
as he could assume, and said, " I should like to know, 
sir, who you are, that you take such liberties with 
people you never saw before !" And the big man 
very meekly and condescendingly replied, "I am 
General Morgan, sir." Poor McBride felt " as if he 
could have crept through an augur-hole ;" and after 
making an awkward and half-uttered apology, went 
away to assist his messmates in fixing their tent. 

Sad must have been the feelings of Cornwallis, 
when he arrived at the Dan and found that, after all 
his toils and sanguine expectations, he was a little 
too late. For once his lordship had been fairly out- 
generalled ; and this is virtually admitted by their 
own historians. Tarleton says, " Every measure of 


the Americans, during their march from the Catawba 
to Virginia, was judiciously designed and vigorously 
executed." Stedman says, " And that the latter, (the 
Americans) escaped without suffering any material 
injury, seems more owing to a train of fortunate 
incidents, judiciously improved by their commander, 
than to any want of enterprise or activity in the 
army that pursued." Cornwallis seems to have 
turned back in moody silence ; for, in his subse- 
quent orders, there is not the slightest allusion to 
his late disappointment. On the night of the 15th, 
he had his head-quarters at Wiley's, where he pro- 
bably remained until the morning of the 17th, and 
took possession of Thomas's mill to do his grinding. 

Wiley's house, in which Cornwallis had his head- 
quarters, and which is yet standing, is about four 
miles south from Erving's Ferry, and is now owned 
and occupied by Samuel Tate. Thomas's mill was 
at the mouth of Country Line creek, where, a few 
years ago, the Milton Factory stood. (See Appendix, 
Orders for February 15, 1781.) 

O'Hara's brigade, we suppose, was now at or near 
Boyd's Ferry, a few miles above Erving's. (See 
Appendix, Orders for February 16, 1781.) 

His lordship slowly retired towards Hillsboro', 
and made his next stage at Dobbin's, now the Eed 
House, where, having given the troops another halt- 
ing day, they were guilty of the most shameful 
excesses. Some were quartered in the church of 
the Eed House, or Middle Hico, as it was then called, 
and treated it with the utmost disrespect. Great 
outrages were committed in the neighborhood ; nor 


did they spare the house of their venerated pastor, 
the Eev. Hugh McAdam, who was known to have 
been a thorough Whig — a "fomentor of sedition," 
as they would term it — and who had died on the 
20th of January, about three weeks before ; but 
searched it throughout, plundered it of everything 
they wanted, and burned his library with his most 
valuable papers. Such is the tradition of the coun- 
try, and it is confirmed by the Order Book. (See 
Appendix, Orders for February 17, 1781.) 

The orders given at Dobbin's, as well as at some 
other places, show that Cornwallis disapproved of 
the marauding and depredations of the soldiers, and 
that he made considerable efforts to prevent their 
excesses ; but Lord Cornwallis was not Oliver Crom- 
well, and he lacked the most important requisite for 
that purpose. Soldiers, with arms in their hands, 
and far from the kindly influence of their domestic 
relations, cannot be kept from plundering, and other 
lawless acts, except by the restraints of religion, or 
their sense of obligation to a higher power ; but, so 
far as we have seen, the British commander exerted 
no influence of that kind. If his lordship had 
driven General Greene out of the State, he had not 
driven away all the patriots ; and his orders betray 
a conviction that he was still in the midst of ene- 
mies. (See Appendix, Orders for February 18, 1781.) 

In this invasion of North Carolina, Cornwallis, as 
we have seen, had two objects in view : to get be- 
tween General Greene and Virginia, so as to cut 
him off' from his main resources, and compel him to 
fight before he received his reinforcements; and 


then to protect and encourage the loyalists. In the 
first he was wholly disappointed, and in the latter 
to a great extent. He had been led to believe that 
the rising in his favor would be very general, and 
with that expectation, evidently, he approached 
Hillsboro', then the seat of government. (See Appen- 
dix, Orders for February 19, 1781.) 

His lordship, as appears from some of the orders 
given, had very little respect for his "colored 
friends ;" but as they performed a great deal of 
drudgery for the officers and army, he appears to 
have had no objections to receive as many as came. 

On the 20th the army entered Hillsboro', and in 
a day or two erected the king's standard. Stedman 
says, " Lord Cornwallis having thus driven General 
Greene out of the province of North Carolina, re- 
turned by easy marches from the banks of the Dan 
to Hillsboro', where he erected the king's standard, 
and invited by, proclamation all loyal subjects to 
repair to it, and take an active part in assisting him 
to restore order and constitutional government." By 
a morning order of the 21st, it was required that 
the troops should be in readiness to march at twelve 
o'clock to attend the ceremony of erecting the king's 
standard at one o'clock; but by a subsequent order 
it was directed that the standard should be raised at 
ten o'clock, and by an order elated at twelve, it was 
deferred until the next day, the 22d, when the cere- 
mony was duly performed. — (See Appendix, Orders 
for February 20, 21, 22, 1781.) 

On February 22, 1781, the Standard of King 
George was erected in Hillsboro'. What forms 


were used we cannot tell ; but part of the ceremony 
consisted in reading a proclamation, of which, the 
the following is a copy : — 

"By the Right Honorable Charles Earl Cornicallis, 

Lieutenant- General of his Majesty 1 s forces, &c. 


" Whereas it has pleased the Divine Providence 
to prosper the operations of his Majesty's arms, in 
driving the rebel army ont of this province; and 
whereas it is his Majesty's most gracious wish to 
rescue his faithful and loyal subjects from the cruel 
tyranny under which they have groaned for many 
years, I have thought proper to issue this proclama- 
tion, to invite all such faithful and loyal subjects to 
repair, without loss of time, with their arms and ten 
days' provisions, to the royal standard now erected 
at Hillsboro', where they will meet with the most 
friendly reception: and I do hereby assure them, 
that I am ready to concur with them in effectual 
measures for suppressing the remains of rebellion 
in this province, and for the re-establishment of 
good order and constitutional government. 

" Given under my hand, at head-quarters, at Hills- 
boro' this twentieth day of February, in the year 
of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty- 
one, and in the twenty-first year of his Majesty's 


" By his Lordship's command. 

"H. BRODRICK, Aid-de-Camp. 
" God save the King." 


Cornwallis did "drive the rebel army out of this 
province;" but it would riot stay out; for, according 
to Stedman, at the very hour when he was per- 
forming the idle ceremony of erecting the king's 
standard in Hillsboro', Gen. Greene was landing his 
army again on this side of the Dan ; and had already 
sent forward his light troops under Williams, Lee, 
and Washington, who were now beating up his 
lordship's quarters, as appears from one of the 
general orders given above. The 2 2d was rather 
an ill-omened day for erecting the standard of King 
George ; for it was Washington's birth-day, and the 
day on which Gen. Greene recrossed the Dan ; at all 
events, it had very little effect. 

The Whigs had been so dispirited and scattered 
by their defeat at the Catawba and Torrence's, that 
their enemies probably thought they would not 
dare to face the "Ked coats again;" but the rebel- 
lious sons of Eowan and Mecklenberg were made 
of "sterner stuff " than was supposed; and before 
his lordship's tracks in the mud were effaced by the 
falling rains, the militia of that region were rally- 
ing for further operations. Besides the privations 
and hardships which they endured in common with 
the patriots generally, they had lately fought seve- 
ral important battles, and rendered other valuable 
services; but, like the State to which they belonged, 
they were intent on the substance, and cared nothing 
for the shadow. When South Carolina was over- 
run by the enemy, after the fall of Charleston, most 
of the inhabitants, to save their property, sub- 
mitted and took British protection; but there were 


some stubborn, unbending patriots, who, deter- 
mined never to yield, fled into North Carolina 
and Virginia. Among them were a few valuable 
officers ; but, as appears from the Narrative of 
Gen. Graham, recently published in the University 
Magazine, they had very few men, not more than 
a dozen to each one, from their own State. 

Of these officers, Sumpter, and perhaps two or 
three others, were appointed to command the North 
Carolina troops, as a matter of courtesy, and not 
because these troops had not officers of their own 
who were as good as the others ; for such men as 
Davis, Davidson, Graham, Ervin, Huggins, &c, were 
fully equal, for both skill and bravery, to any others 
in the land. North Carolina troops then fought 
the important battles of Eocky Mount, Hanging 
Eock and some others ; but because the commanding 
officer was from South Carolina, having been ap- 
pointed from courtesy or respect, and not from 
necessity, the credit has been unjustly given to that 
State. When the British crossed the Catawba, Gen. 
Eutherford who had been taken prisoner at Gates' 
defeat, was still in captivity ; and the militia of those 
counties, having rallied to the number of six or seven 
hundred, in completing their organization, appointed 
Gen. Andrew Pickens, of South Carolina, though he 
had not more than thirty or forty men with him 
from his own State, to take the place of Gen. David- 
son, who had been killed at the river. On the 10th 
of February he was invested with the command, 
and on the 11th commenced his march towards 
Hillsboro', following the route of the^ British by 


the Shallow Ford, ten or twelve miles beyond Salem. 
Captain, afterwards Gen. Graham, with his little 
company, did not wait for any organization, but 
continued to hang on the rear of the British and 
harassed them considerably by cutting off stragglers. 
Pickens with his command, including Graham's 
company, which had now joined him, arrived at 
Stony Creek, twelve or fifteen miles from Hills- 
boro', before the British army had entered it, and 
before any of the light troops from Gen. Greene's 
army were known to be even approaching. 

Soon after entering Hillsboro', Cornwallis sent 
a piquet of twenty-five men under a proper officer 
to take possession of Hart's mill, on the Eno, for 
the purpose of grinding their grain. Gen. Pick- 
ens being informed of this fact, on his arrival at 
Stony creek, detached Cap. Graham, with twenty 
of his own mounted company and about the same 
number of Cap. Simmons' riflemen, who marched in 
the night, and at day -break the next morning, killed 
and captured the whole party, then returned to the 
place of their encampment with their prisoners all 
safe and without having lost a man, though Tarleton 
was in hot pursuit. 

Gen. Greene, well aware of the effect which the 
British army in Hillsboro', and the proclamation 
of Cornwallis would have on the inhabitants, and 
especially on the loyalists, of the surrounding 
country, sent over his light troops under Williams, 
Lee, and Washington, to harass the enemy's foraging 
parties ; and, after resting four or five days, having 
received a small reinforcement under Gen. Stephens 


and perhaps some militia from North Carolina, re- 
crossed the Dan himself, and moved towards the 
head-quarters of the British. Lossing says that Lee 
crossed the Dan on the 18th and was followed by 
Pickens and Oldham, implying that Pickens was 
with the main army on the other side of the river; 
but he came directly from the west, and according 
to the statements of Gen. Graham who was one of 
his corps, he was on the field of operations before 
Lee. On the morning of the 18th, according to the 
Order Book, the British army was at Dobbin's, now 
the Bed House, within a few miles of the ferry, and 
while they were so near, Lee would hardly have 
ventured over, but there are other discrepancies as 
to dates, between all the American accounts and 
those of the British. 

On the authority of Lee's Memoirs and other his- 
tories, Lossing says further, that Lee sent out his 
scouts, and early on the morning of the 19th, (a 
long distance to travel in less than a day,) he was 
informed by them that Tarleton was out recon- 
noitering and offering protection to the loyalists; 
that Lee and Pickens pushed on to gain the great 
road leading from Hillsboro' to the Haw ; and that 
on arriving there they ascertained that he had 
passed the day before, which would be the 18th, 
when, according to the Order Book, the British 
army was still at the Bed House. Gen. Graham 
says that Lee and Pickens did not meet until after 
the capture of the mill guard; but as Cornwallis 
did not reach Hillsboro' until the 20th, the guard 
could not have been captured before the morning 


of the 21st, and was probably done on the morning 
of the 2 2d. Tarleton says in his history, that he 
was not detached over Haw river until the 23d; 
and we can hardly suppose that the Tories had ap- 
proached so near as to need his protection at an 
earlier day. We are not finding fault with the 
statements of Lossing or any other, but are merely 
showing the difference in dates between the Ameri- 
can and British accounts. 

The certainty of Gen. Greene's return, as soon 
as reinforced, and the actual presence of his light- 
armed parties, under active and enterprising officers, 
had a good influence on the disaffected portion of 
the community. Tarleton says, that "Soon after 
the king's standard was erected at Hillsboro', many 
hundred inhabitants of the surrounding districts 
rode into the British camp, to talk over the procla- 
mation, inquire the news of the day, and take a 
view of the king's troops." The generality of these 
visitants seemed desirous of peace, but averse to 
every exertion that might tend to procure it. They 
acknowledged the continentals were chased out of 
the province, but they declared they soon expected 
them to return, and the dread of violence and per- 
secution prevented their taking a decided part in a 
cause which yet appeared dangerous. Some of the 
most zealous professors of attachment, who were de- 
nominated Tories, from their having publicly avowed 
their sentiments, "promised to raise corps and regi- 
ments for the king's service, but their followers and 
dependents protesting against military restraint and 
ub ordination, numbers were never found to com- 


plete tlieir establishments." However, Cornwallis 
still entertained hopes of receiving reinforcements 
from that quarter; and it was known to him that 
they were embodying under Col. Pyle, in the south 
side of Orange, with the intention of joining his 
standard at Hillsboro'. They had communicated 
their intentions to his lordship, and he had given 
them assurance that a British force should be sent 
for their protection while assembling, requesting 
them at the same time, to come into Hillsboro', or 
to join Lieutenant-Colonel Tarleton's corps as soon 
as practicable. Accordingly, " Tarleton was de- 
tached, on the 23d, with two hundred cavahy, one 
hundred and fifty men of Col. Webster's brigade, 
and one hundred Yagers, with two field-pieces," to 
give them the promised protection ; and on the 24th, 
he says he crossed the Haw, where he " dispersed 
a party of American militia, who had united to 
counteract the intentions of the loyalists." Col. Lee, 
who, Gen. Graham says, had joined Pickens, for the 
first time, the night after the capture of the picket 
at Hart's Mill, soon got information that Tarleton 
had been sent out towards the Haw, at the head of 
a strong corps, for the protection of the Tories; and, 
on gaining the great road leading westward from 
Hillsboro' he learned that they had already passed. 
After crossing the river next morning, he met 
with Ephraim Cook, an easy, good-natured sort of 
a Tory, from whom he learned what was Tarleton's 
strength and where he had his camp. Cook also 
informed him that the embodiment of Tories under 
Col. Pyle was approaching and was not far distant. 


He resolved to make his first attack on Tarleton; 
but, on approaching the place of his encampment, 
he found he had left it and gone two or three miles 
further west to the plantation of Col. O'Neill, who, 
if not a Tory at heart, as was generally believed, 
was more concerned for his own interest than for 
that of his country. Two of Tarleton's officers, 
however, who had been left at the camp, were cap- 
tured by Lee and taken with him. lie made the 
country people believe that his legion, which very 
much resembled that of Tarleton's, was a reinforce- 
ment from Cornwallis ; and the two captured officers 
were compelled by a threat of instant death if they 
refused to favor the deception. Tarleton, having 
got word, it seems, that Lee was approaching at the 
head of a strong detachment, consisting of his own 
legion, with perhaps some other companies, and five 
or six hundred western men under Gen. Pickens, 
though not aware of his crossing the river, had sent 
two expresses to Col. Pyle, urgiag him to come with 
all haste to his encampment and not wait for any 
more to come in ; but the credulous Tories, not 
apprehensive of any danger, were advancing very 
leisurely, taking time to call on their friends by the 
way and drink the health of King George with 
every one they met. They had known so much of 
the courage and enterprise of the Whigs during the 
war, that they might have been on their guard ; but, 
"inspired with whiskey and the novelty of their 
situation," Tarleton says, "they feared nobody, sus- 
pected no danger, and were too much under the 
influence of imaginary hopes and the vain prospects 


of royal favor to perceive or think of danger until 
it was too late." 

When the Americans commenced their march, 
Lee, at the head of his legion, led the way, and 
sent forward a scout, who were to keep within a 
few hundred yards. They soon met two young 
men from the Tories, who were well mounted, and 
taking it for granted that they were British, a part 
of the reinforcement, they expressed their gratifica- 
tion at meeting with them. When asked by the 
officer, they told him they had been sent forward 
by Col. Pyle, who was only a little way behind with 
a large body of loyalists, to find the way to Tarle- 
ton's camp and inform him of their approach. The 
officer sent them back to Col. Lee, accompanied by 
a dragoon; and, when they came up, supposing him 
to be Tarleton, of course, they accosted him with 
great deference, and informed him that Col. Pyle was 
just at hand. Lee, aiming to take them prisoners, 
and give them their choice to go home and stay 
there or join the American army, requested Gen. 
Pickens to place his riflemen on the left flank and 
keep them concealed in the woods, while he would 
endeavor to get in such a position that he could 
have them fairly in his power before they would be 

He also sent off one of the young Tories, accom- 
panied by the same dragoon, to give Colonel Pyle 
his compliments, and request him to have his men 
drawn up in a proper position, where there would 
be room enough for him to pass with his weary 
troops ; but the other young Tory he retained to ride 


with him, and keep up the delusion. Lee, at the 
head of his corps, first approached the loyalists, who, 
fortunately for his purpose, were drawn up on the 
right hand side of the road, which made it unneces- 
sary for those behind to countermarch and confront 
them. There were about four hundred, all mounted 
and armed with rifles. Colonel Lee rode along the 
line, complimenting them very courteously for their 
loyalty and their fine appearance; and as he 
approached Colonel Pyle, the whole mass shouted, 
" God save the King !" Lee's taking Colonel Pyle 
by the hand, and summoning them to surrender, 
was to be the signal for the cavalry to draw their 
swords ; but as he was approaching Pyle for that 
purpose, some of the loyalists on the left discovered 
Pickens' militia, and perceiving that they had been 
betrayed, commenced firing on the rear guard, under 
the command of Captain Eggleston, who at once 
turned upon them as a matter of necessity, and was 
instantty followed by the whole column. Such is, 
in substance, the account of this matter, as found in 
most of our histories; but General Graham, who 
was present, says, in his letter to Judge Murphy, 
dated December 20th, 1827, that the Americans 
commenced the firing, and gives the following 
account : 

" The fact was, that I, riding in front of the militia 
dragoons, near to Captain Eggleston, who brought 
up Lee's rear at the distance of forty or fifty yards, 
pointed out to him the strip of reel cloth on the hats 
of Pyle's men, as the mark of Tories. Eggleston 
appeared to doubt this, until he came nearly oppo- 


site to the end of their line ; when, riding up to the 
man on their left, who appeared as an officer, he 
inquired, "Who do you belong to?" The answer 
was promptly given, "To King George;" upon 
which Eggleston struck him on the head with his 
sword. Our dragoons well knew the red cloth on 
the hat to be the badge of Tories, but being under 
the immediate command of Lee, they had waited 
for orders. But seeing the example set by his 
officer, without waiting for further commands, they 
rushed upon them like a torrent. Lee's men, next 
to the rear, discovering this, reined in their horses 
to the right upon the Tory line, and, in less than one 
minute, the engagement was general." 

A terrible slaughter then followed, indiscrimi- 
nate and unsparing, for the swords flashed so 
quick, and with such force, that the Tories could not 
bring their rifles to bear. They cried for mercy ; 
but no mercy was shown, until it could be done 
with safety to the victors. 

Out of four hundred, about ninety were killed on 
the spot, and many more wounded. The Americans 
had none killed, and received no injury except the 
loss of one horse. Colonel Pyle was badly wounded 
and fled to the shelter of a small pond, which was 
environed and deeply shaded with oaks, black-jacks 
and a variety of undergrowth. In this pond, tra- 
dition says, he lay entirely covered by the water, 
except his nose, until after dark, when he crawled 
out, found his way home, and recovered. This pond 
has ever since been called " Pyle's Pond," and the 
slaughter of his men still has the designation of 


" Pyle's Hacking Match." This was on the 25th of 
February, and was a most important event in our 
Eevolutionary history. Stedman, who is generally 
candid and reliable when he has correct information, 
abuses Lee, in no measured terms, for his treatment 
of the Tories under Pyle ; calls it a " massacre," and 
says, that " between two and three hundred of them 
were inhumanly butchered while in the act of beg- 
ging for mercy ;" but he probably got his informa- 
tion from the defeated and frightened loyalists, and 
was mistaken. Lee was brave, but not cruel ; and if 
his stratagem had succeeded, we presume, not a life 
would have been taken ; but when the strife had 
commenced, it was kill or be killed, and they could 
not desist until they had so far disabled their enemies 
that they could make no further resistance. Besides, 
it was the work of a moment, and the havoc was all 
made before the cry for mercy could be fairly heard. 
The loyalists seem to have been under a strange 
infatuation ; for some of the wounded got to Tarle- 
ton's camp, and, still under the belief that their 
assailants were the British, complained to him of the 
cruelty of his dragoons. Although he was so near, 
almost within hearing of the pistols, he says, this 
was the first intimation he had of the attack on his 
friends, and the first certain information he had that 
Colonel Lee was so near him. It was well for him 
that he got the information, and that he was recalled 
in time, for he made a narrow escape next morning. 
As the Tories were so cut up and frightened that it 
would be useless to pursue them, Lee and Pickens 
went in pursuit of Tarleton, who was at O'Neill's, 


where Mr. Turrentine now lives, on the Greensboro' 
road. When within a mile of O'Neill's, they en- 
camped for the night, and were there joined by 
three hundred hardy mountaineers from Virginia, 
under Colonel Preston, who were on their way to 
General Greene's head-quarters. Tarleton says, 
" Patrols were sent out to learn the course the 
American dragoons had taken after this event, and 
assistance was despatched to the wounded loyalists. 
After dark, information was procured of the distance 
and position of the mountaineers, and when the 
British troops were under arms, at midnight, to pro- 
ceed towards their encampment, an express arrived 
from Earl Cornwallis, with an order for Lieutenant- 
Colonel Tarleton's return to Hillsboro'." Tarle- 
ton was perhaps fiery and impetuous enough to 
attack Colonel Lee ; but if he had attacked him, 
with the reinforcements just received under Preston, 
it would have been another " Cowpen affair ;" and 
it was well for him that he received the order to 
return just when he did. Cornwallis had been 
apprised that General Greene was approaching, and 
that Colonel Lee was in the neighborhood, at the 
head of a strong detachment, which was receiving 
almost daily accessions. 

When Pyle and the main body left Holt's house, 
on their way to the scene of discomfiture, Thomas 
Creighton and John Honeycut stayed behind awhile, 
probably drinking and enjoying themselves, until 
some Whigs came along, and, as usual in such cases, 
asked them to whom they belonged. They replied, 
"To Colonel Pyle;" and Honeycut was killed on 


the spot, but Creighton escaped with a wound in the 
hip, which did not prove mortal. Drury Honeycut 
was at the " Hacking Match," and was desperately 
mangled. Some one gave him a number of severe 
cuts with his sword on the head, neck, face and arms, 
and then left him for dead. Another coming along, 
and seeing that he was not dead, gave him a back- 
handed stroke with his sword across the nose, which 
cut both cheeks to the bone, and then shot him with 
his pistol ; but the wound was not mortal. He aimed 
to shoot him in the head, but the pistol being hard 
on the trigger, the ball struck his arm near the 
shoulder and broke it. After all, he recovered, and 
lived many years, but was a pitiable object to 

The news of Pyle's defeat must have been carried 
to Hillsboro' that evening, and in the night Corn- 
wallis dispatched a trusty messenger to Tarleton with 
orders for his return. The messenger was a Tory, 
a young man who was well acquainted with every 
by-path through the intervening country, and 
arrived at Tarleton's camp about day-break. Many 
years after he related the following incident, illus- 
trative of Tarlton's character, which was first pub- 
lished in the Petersburg Intelligencer, and then in 
the Greensboro' Patriot. " As soon," says the old 
Tory, u as I came in view of the British lines, I 
hastened to deliver myself up to the nearest patrol, 
informing him that I was the bearer of important 
dispatches from Lord Cornwallis to Col. Tarleton. 
The guard was immediately called out, the com- 
mander of which, taking me in charge, carried me 


at once to Tarleton's marque. A servant informed 
him of my arrival, and returned immediately with 
the answer that his master would see me after a 
while, and that in the meantime I was to await his 
pleasure where I then was. The servant was a 
grave and sedate looking Englishman, between 30 
and 60 years of age, and informed me that he had 
known Col. Tarleton from his earliest youth, having 
lived for many years in the family of his father, a 
worthy clergyman, at whose particular request he 
had followed the Colonel to this country, with the 
view, that if overtaken by disease and suffering in 
his head-long career, he might have some one near 
him who had known him ere the pranksome mischief 
of the boy had hardened into the sterner vices of 
the man ' He was always a wild blade, friend,' said 
old man, ' and many a heart-ache has he given us 
all; but he'll mend in time, I hope.' Just then 
my attention was attracted by the violent plungings 
of a horse, which two stout grooms, one on each 
side, were endeavouring to lead towards the spot 
where we were standing. He was a large and power- 
ful brute, beautifully formed, and black as a crow, 
with an eye that actually seemed to blaze with rage, 
at the restraint put upon him. His progress was one 
continued bound, at times swinging the grooms 
clear from the earth, as lightly as though they were 
but tassels hung on his huge Spanish bit, so that 
with difficulty they escaped being trampled under 
foot. I asked the meaning of the scene, and was 
informed that the horse was one that Tarleton had 
heard of as being a magnificent animal, but one 


altogether unmanageable ; and so delighted was he 
with the description, tha,t he sent all the way down 
into Moore county, where his owner resided, and 
purchased him at the extravagant price of one hun- 
dred guineas ; and that, moreover, he was about to 
ride him that morning. ' Ride him,' said I, ' why 
one had as well try to back a streak of lightning ! — 
the mad brute will certainly be the death of him.' 
' Never fear for him,' said my companion, ' never 
fear for him. His time has not come yet.' By this 
time the horse had been brought up to where we 
were ; the curtain of the marque was pushed aside, 
and my attention was drawn from the savage stud, 
to rivet itself upon his dauntless rider. And a pic- 
ture of a man he was ! Rather below the middle 
height, and with a face almost femininely beautiful, 
Tarleton possessed a form that was a perfect model 
of manly strength and vigor. Without a particle 
of superfluous flesh, his rounded limbs and full broad 
chest seemed moulded from iron, yet at the same 
time displaying all the elasticity which usually 
accompanies elegance of proportion. His dress 
(strange as it may appear) was a jacket and breeches 
of white linen, fitted to his form with the utmost 
exactness. Boots of russet leather were halfway 
up the leg, the broad tops of which were turned 
down, the heels garnished with spurs of an immense 
size and length of rowel. On his head was a low 
crowned hat, curiously formed from the snow white 
feathers of the swan, and in his hand he carried a 
heavy scourge, with shot well twisted into its 
knotted lash. After looking around for a moment 


or two, as though to command the attention of all, 
he advanced to the side of the horse, and, disdaining 
the use of the stirrup, with one bound threw him- 
self into the saddle, at the same time calling on the 
grooms to let him go. For an instant the animal 
seemed paralyzed; then, with a perfect yell of rage, 
bounded into the air like a stricken deer. 

" The struggle for the mastery had commenced 
— bound succeeded bound with the rapidity of 
thought; every device which its animal instinct 
could teach was resorted to by the maddened brute 
to shake off its unwelcome burden — but in vain. 
Its ruthless rider proved irresistible, and, clinging 
like fate itself, plied the scourge and rowel like a 
fiend. The punishment was too severe to be long 
withstood, and at length, after a succession of frantic 
efforts, the tortured animal, with a scream of agony, 
leaped forth upon the plain, and flew across it with 
the speed of an arrow. The ground upon which 
Tarleton had pitched his camp was an almost per- 
fectly level plain, something more than half a mile 
in circumference. Around this, after getting him 
under way, he continued to urge his furious steed, 
amid the raptures and shouts of the admiring 
soldiery, plying the whip and spur at every leap, 
until wearied and worn down with its prodigious 
efforts, the tired creature discontinued all exertion, 
save that to which it was urged by its merciless 

" At length, exhausted from the conflict, Tarleton 
drew up before his tent, and threw himself from the 
saddle. The horse was completely subdued, and at 


the word of command followed him around like a 
dog. The victory was complete. His eye of fire 
was dim and lustreless, drops of agony fell from his 
drooping front, while from his laboring and mangled 
sides the mingled blood and foam poured in a thick 
and clotted stream. Tarleton himself was pale as 
death, and as soon as he was satisfied of his success, 
retired and threw himself on his couch. In a short 
time I was called into his presence, and delivered 
my despatches. Immediately orders were issued to 
make preparation for a return to Hillsboro', as soon 
as all the scouts had come in ; and the next morn- 
ing early found us again beyond the Haw river — 
and in good time too, for as the last files were 
emerging from the stream the advance of Lee's 
legion appeared on the opposite bank, and, with a 
shout of disappointed rage, poured a volley into the 
ranks of the retreating columns. 

"I have witnessed many stirring scenes," said the 
old man, " both during the revolution and since, but 
I never saw one half so exciting as the strife 
between that savage man and savage horse." 

The apprehensions of Cornwallis for the safety of 
his favorite officer were immediately excited, and 
everything in his order, a copy of which is sub- 
j oined, betrays his anxiety. 

"Copy. — From Earl Cornwallis to Lieutenant- Colonel 
Tarleton, dated Hillsboro\ Feb. 24:(h, 1781. Three 
o'clock, P. M. Triplicate. 

11 Dear Tarleton — I have received intelligence 


from two persons, that Greene passed the Dan on 
the 2 2d, and was advancing to Dobbyn's. They 
mention so many particulars, that I cannot help 
giving some credit, I therefore wish you to join me 
as soon as possible. 

"Yours, sincerely, 


" I take my ground this evening on the south 
side of the Eno." 

From respect for authority, if not from fear of his 
enemies, Tarleton promptly obeyed the order ; and 
at 10 o'clock the next morning, when the Ameri- 
cans had made their arrangements for attack, they 
learned that he was on his way to Hillsboro \ They 
followed him as far as the ford on the river ; but on 
being informed that he had passed, they discontinued 
the pursuit, and he was suffered to proceed without 
molestation. "Fortune, the capricious goddess," 
says Lee, in his Memoirs, " gave us Pyle and saved 
Tarleton." Finding that they could not overtake 
Tarleton, until he got within supporting distance of 
Cornwallis, Lee and Pickens turned up the river, 
on the east side, and, after going a few miles, separ- 
ated for the purpose of procuring the necessary 
supplies. In the evening of the next day, Pickens 
encamped within half a mile of a Mr. Dickey's, and, 
having learned, in the course of the day, that the 
British were pursuing him, he placed a strong rear- 


guard at the ford of a branch near Dickey's house. 
A patrol was sent out beyond the guard, under Cap- 
tain Franklin, since Governor of the State, who, at 
a fork in the road, a hundred yards from the house, 
took the right hand road and missed the enemy ; but 
Major Micajah Lewis, of Surry county, with a few 
others went to Dickey's house, and in the twilight, 
discovered a body of British troops coming round 
by the road on the other side of the fence. They 
mounted their horses and rode out to meet them. 
When hailed, they halted and answered, " a friend." 
On being asked where they came from, they answer- 
ed, "from General Greene to join General Pickens," 
and enquired of Major Lewis, if Captain Franklin 
had not told him they were coming for that purposs. 
He answered in the negative ; but as he knew Frank- 
lin, and was aware that he had gone in that direction 
only a few minutes before, he was thrown off his 
guard. He ordered the leading officer to meet him 
half way and give the proper explanations, at the 
same time, moving forward himself; but seeing 
none of them advance, he was about to halt and turn 
his horse, when he was ordered to " stand, or they 
would blow his brains out." As his horse turned, 
they discharged at him a full platoon of twenty or 
thirty guns which broke his thigh and wounded 
him badly in several other places. His horse was 
also shot in several places ; but he rode by the guard 
and into the camp, a full half mile, where he was 
taken from his horse and carried in a blanket by 
four men, to the nearest farm house where he died 
next day, much lamented as a brave and patriotic 


man. He belonged to the North Carolina line, and 
was then serving as a volunteer, but without any 
command. He was buried on Dickey's plantation 
where his grave may still be seen. The British 
drove in the guard at the branch, arid Pickens not 
knowing what amount of force was coming against 
him, retreated three or four miles and halted, leav- 
ing a strong guard half a mile in the rear. Their 
camp-fires were kindled and the men, or such of 
them as had any provisions, were preparing to 
eat, when the guard was again driven in, and they 
retreated once more, though in a different direc- 
tion and about the same distance; but cold and 
damp as the night was, they kindled no more fires, 
General Graham says, until the morning, when they 
learned that the British were returning to head- 
quarters. Cornwallis remained in Hillsboro' only 
half as long as he had promised the Tories ; but he 
could accomplish nothing by remaining longer ; and 
a variety of circumstances compelled him to leave. 
In the meantime, as the Order Book shows, he 
neither relaxed his vigilance, nor neglected to pro- 
vide for the comfort of his troops. {See Appendix, 
Orders for February 23, (*24,) 26, 25, 1781.) 

* There is some confusion of dates in the last two or three 
orders, for which I cannot account unless the transcriber mis- 
took the 24th for the 26th, and I have accordingly put the 
24th in parenthesis, for he removed over the Eno on the 
afternoon of the 24th, and the last order under date of the 
26th, as it here stands relates to that removal ; but he left 
Hillsboro' early on the morning of the 26th, and must be a 
mistake in date in either the original or in the copy. 


"With full reliance on the valor and discipline of 
his troops, Cornwallis was anxious to meet his 
enemies in the open field ; but cooped up as he was 
in town, he was harassed without being able to 
strike a blow. Gen. Greene had re-crossed the 
Dan, and advanced within ten or twelve miles of 
Hillsboro' where he was waiting for more re-inforce- 
ments. His light troops under the most daring and 
enterprising officers, such as Williams, Lee, Howard, 
Washington and Preston, were scouring the country 
and cutting off his supplies. They had already cut 
up a large body of his friends in the neighborhood. 
They were increasing every day in the boldness of 
their adventures, as well as in numbers, and were 
frustrating the main design of his advance into 
that region. 

Being thus confined within narrow limits and not 
daring to forage far from camp, nor to forage at all 
without a very strong guard, they were under a 
necessity of changing their location. Stedman says, 
" There being few cattle to be had in its neighbor- 
hood, and those principally draught-oxen, Lord 
Cornwallis had promised that they should not be 
slaughtered but in case of absolute necessity;" but 
that necessity did exist, and compelled the author 
(Stedman himself) to direct that several of the 
draught-oxen should be killed. This measure, 
although the effect of necessity, caused much mur- 
muring among the loyalists, whose property these 
cattle were. During the time the royal army held 
Hillsboro' the author's cattle drivers were obliged to 
go a considerable distance from the army for cattle, 


and even then brought in but a scanty supply. 
Lord Cornwallis could not have remained as long 
as he did at Hillsboro' had it not been for a quan- 
tity of salt beef, pork, and some hogs, found in the 
town. Such was the situation of the British army, 
that the author, with a file of men, was obliged to go 
from house to house throughout the town, to take 
provisions from the inhabitants, many of whom 
were greatly distressed by this measure, which 
could be justified only by extreme necessity." His 
lordship, therefore, "thought it expedient to retire 
from Hillsboro', and take a position between the 
Haw and Deep river, so as effectually to cover 
the country in his rear;" and accordingly, on the 
eveuing of the 25th, he issued his orders for that 
purpose. — (See Appendix, Orders for February 25, 
26, 27, 28, and March 1, 1781.) 

On the morning of this day they crossed the 
Big Alamance, and encamped within a mile of the 
place where Holt's factory now stands, where they 
remained several days. The soldiers and camp- 
followers together often plundered so much cloth- 
ing and other property, from the people of the 
country, as we infer from the Order Book, that it 
became burdensome, and the officers had much of 
it burned. — (See Appendix, Orders for March 1, 2, 3, 
4, 1781, and October 5, 1780.) 

As Cornwallis moved westward from Hillsboro', 
the Americans advanced in the same direction. On 
the 27th, the day on which his lordship crossed the 
Haw, the American light troops, under Williams, 
having been joined by Lee, Pickens, and some 


others, crossed below the mouth of the Buffalo 
creek, and next morning the army under Greene, 
having received some accessions of militia, crossed 
a few miles above. He encamped between the 
Reedy Fork and Troublesome creek ; but from pru- 
dential considerations, as he was not ready for an 
engagement, he changed his position every night, 
and placed Colonel Williams, with the light corps 
under his command, between him and the enemy, 
only some fifteen or twenty miles distant. This 
arrangement threw the light troops of the British un- 
der Tarleton, and those of the Americans, under Wil- 
liams, in close proximity, and, as the officers on both 
sides were too enterprising to be idle, several skir- 
mishes took place. Lossing says, that Williams, hav- 
ing approached within a mile of Tarleton, on the 2d 
of March, the latter attacked him, when a short but 
severe skirmish ensued, in which the enemy lost about 
thirty in killed and wounded, while the Americans 
lost none. Tarleton, who always loved to speak favor- 
ably of himself, says that a number of the Ameri- 
can riflemen were killed, but that their loss, in killed 
and wounded, was only twenty men and one officer 
wounded ; but the account given by General Gra- 
ham, in his narrative or declaration, and his letter 
to Judge Murphy, published in the University 
Magazine for November and December, 1854, is 
probably more reliable, as he was an eye witness 
and a prominent actor in the scene. It is as follows : 
" Both armies having got to the south of Haw 
river, near Alamance creek, on the second of March 
a detachment of about six hundred, all militia 


except Lee's legion, advanced in three columns, 
under his command. This deponent and company 
in front of the left, with orders to support the left 
flank. After passing through a farm, near Clapp's 
mill, and entering a coppice of woods, encountered 
a large party of the enemy drawn up in position. 
A smart firing commenced, and after three or four 
rounds our line gave way; the ground was so 
hampered with thick underbrush, and the Tories 
pressing us on the left flank, the retreat was effected 
with difficulty. Ketreated about one mile to the 
ford on Big Alamance, where Colonel Otho Williams, 
the regulars under his command, and "Washington's 
cavalry, were drawn up to support us. The enemy 
did not pursue more than five hundred yards. In 
the affair, two were killed, three wounded, and two 
taken prisoners, of this deponent's company — seven 
in all." Then follows an account of some other 
operations in the course of the next day and night, 
which, not being noticed any where else, are worthy 
our attention : 

" The day after the battle at Clapp's mill, Colonel 
Lee ordered this deponent to take twenty -five men 
and go to where the battle was, and see if the enemy 
were there ; if gone, take their trail, credit no report 
of the inhabitants, but proceed till we actually saw 
the British troops. At the battle ground, found the 
British had gone, after burying their own dead and 
leaving ours. Took the trail ; in the evening came 
in view of their sentries on the Salisbury road, 
within one-half a mile of their head-quarters, and 
directly despatched a sergeant and six of the party 


to inform Lee ; the rest of our party moved, after 
dark, through the woods, with the view of taking 
two sentries we had seen in the evening. In this 
we failed ; but after they had fired at us, we went 
briskly up the main road. In half a mile, met a 
patrol of their cavalry, about equal to our number; 
after hailing briskly, discharged a volley in their 
faces ; they retreated and took to the woods. We 
took their officer prisoner, the rest escaped. We 
turned out of the road into an obscure path ; in half 
a mile, halted to take some refreshment. On the 
great road opposite to us, a quarter of a mile dis- 
tant, heard a scattering fire, and considerable noise, 
which lasted for some time. Two days after, Ave 
learned from a deserter, that, on report of the sen- 
tries in the evening, the patrol was sent up the road 
after us, and were returning when we met and dis- 
persed them. When they came into camp from 
different directions, upwards of one hundred cavalry 
were sent up the road after us, and at eleven o'clock 
at night, met a company of Tories coming to join 
them. Not doubting that it was the party which 
had defeated their picket, they instantly charged 
them, and considerable slaughter was made before 
it was discovered they were friends. These small 
affairs did more to suppress Toryism to the South 
than anything that had before occurred. A few 
days before, at Pyle's defeat, they had been cut up 
by Lee's men, and ours, when they thought it was 
their friend, Tarleton; in the present case, they were 
cut up by the British, when they thought it was the 


The retrograde movement of Cornwallis from 
Hillsboro', just as Greene's army was approaching, 
though a matter of necessity, had an unfavorable 
effect on the Tories ; for, as he said in his letter to 
Lord George Germain, under date of March 17th, 
he found himself "amongst timid friends, and 
adjoining to inveterate rebels," so that he could 
neither get assistance nor information respecting the 
movements of his enemy. Stedman says, "If the 
loyalists were before cautious and slow, they now 
became timid to an excess, and dreaded taking any 
active measure whatsoever in behalf of the king's 
government ; more especially when they reflected on 
the disaster that had happened to Colonel Pyle, 
whose detachment was cut to pieces within little 
more than a mile of Tarleton's encampment." While 
encamped on the Alamance, so far as we can learn, 
he received not more than two small accessions of 
Tories, under Colonels Field and Bryan ; perhaps 
only the one under Colonel Field, for, as Bryan had 
joined them the fall before, at Cheraw, he might 
have continued with them, or rejoined them near 
the Yadkin — but that is a matter of very little con- 
sequence. We know that he was with them on the 
Alamance only from the Order Book, and he may 
have joined them there. Some ten days before, 
Colonel Field, with a corps of loyalists and a few 
Whig prisoners, was on his way toPyle's camp ; but 
before he reached it, he heard of the "Hacking 
Match" at Holt's, when he dismissed his prisoners 
on parole and returned home, or remained among 
his friends in that region, waitinsr for further devel- 


opments. It was not Colonel Pyle's intention to 
join the British so soon, but he was hurried on by 
Cornwallis and Tarleton to his own ruin. Hence 
Field was too late ; and, on other accounts, it was 
probably a fortunate occurrence, for, being a man of 
more firmness and military experience than Pyle, 
he might have given a different turn to the whole 
affair. We presume he reached Cornwallis' camp 
on the fourth 1 ; for we find duties assigned him there 
for the fifth, which would hardly have been done on 
the day of his arrival. 

The British army, while on the Alamance, though 
they thought they were among friends, were greatly 
annoyed, and could not have remained long without 
being cut off in detail. Stragglers were captured, 
and small foraging parties were attacked and routed, 
some of them killed, and the rest compelled to return 
empty handed. When a party was sent any distance 
from the camp, to forage, half the army had to go 
along for their protection. Tarleton tells us, that 
on the morning of the third, he was sent out at the 
head of a strong corps, consisting of two hundred 
cavalry, the light company of the Guards, eighty 
Yagers, one hundred and fifty of Webster's Bri- 
gade, two six-pounders, and the regiment of Bose — 
in all not less than ten or twelve hundred. They 
went only six miles, and had to remain over night, 
during which time their patrols were frequently 
driven in ; but after a night of alarm and anxiety, 
next morning, the forage being completed, they 
returned to camp. 

The proximity of Greene, his increasing strength, 


and the boldness of his light-armed corps, at length 
induced his lordship to go in pursuit with his entire 
force. Having learned on the fifth, Stedman says, 
' ' that their light troops were carelessly posted, he 
crossed the Alamance before sunrise, and, under 
cover of a thick fog, marched towards the Reedy 
Fork. But Williams was not to be caught in that ' 
way ; for, about eight o'clock in the morning, his 
patrols discovered that the British were advancing 
on the road to Wetzell's mill, an important pass on 
the Eeedy Fork. Every possible exertion was made 
to overtake the retreating Americans ; and General 
Graham says, "Colonel Webster, with the elite of 
the British army, for twelve miles pressed us so 
closely, as to compel Colonel Otho Williams, the 
commander, to fight at this place." Tarleton's corps 
led the column, and were supported by Webster. 
They first encountered a covering party of one 
hundred and fifty Virginia militia, who boldly 
returned the fire, but were then obliged to retire 
over the creek, and join the main body. In this 
party were a number of Whigs, volunteers from 
Guilford county, among whom were Kobert Shaw, 
William McAdoo, and William Eyan. Shaw was 
severely wounded, but was saved from falling into 
the hands of the enemy by McAdoo, who drew him 
up across the pommel of his saddle, almost under 
the guns of the British, and carried him away. The 
British infantry followed, and met with a warm 
reception by Lee's infantry and Campbell's riflemen. 
Webster was quickly reinforced by the light com- 
pany of the Guards and the Yagers, and these were 


supported by artillery, placed on the high ground 
near the creek. Williams, perceiving that the 
militia, who were not used to artillery, were becom- 
ing alarmed, ordered a retreat, and followed himself 
with Howard's battalion, flanked by Kirkwood's 
Delaware infantry and the infantry of Lee's legion, 
covered by Washington's cavalry. In this conflict, 
it is said, the Americans lost about fifty in killed 
and wounded. Tarleton, who never exaggerates his 
own loss, nor underrates that of his enemy, says 
the Americans lost over a hundred in killed and 
wounded, but that the killed and wounded of the 
British amounted to about thirty. Gordon says, 
Sergeant-Major Perry and Quarter-master-Sergeant 
Lumsford, of Lee's dragoons, performed a very bold 
manoeuvre. They were separately detached, with 
four dragoons, to make observations. They saw 
sixteen or eighteen British horsemen ride into a 
farm-house yard in an irregular manner, and some 
of them dismount. The two young men joined 
their forces, charged the horsemen, and, in sight of 
Tarleton's legion, cut every man down. They then 
retired without a scar. 

The escape of Colonel Webster, on this occasion, 
has been the subject of much admiration ; and, if 
the statements in history are reliable, it can be 
accounted for only by ascribing it to a higher power. 
In the woods near the mill, where some riflemen 
were stationed, was an old log school-house. In 
this building, twenty-five of the most expert marks- 
men, who were at King's Mount, were stationed by 
Lee, with orders not to engage in the general con- 


flictj but to pick off officers at a distance. When 
Webster entered the stream, and was slowly fording 
its rocky bed, the marksmen all discharged their 
rifles at him in consecutive order, each certain of 
hitting him, yet not a ball touched him or his horse. 
Thirty -two discharges were made without effect I 

On the approach of Cornwallis, General Greene, 
not feeling strong enough yet for a general engage- 
ment, retreated across the Haw, and avoided his 
enemy. By changing his position every day, they 
never knew where to find him, and could only strike 
at his light-armed parties, which was accomplishing 
very little. Both Tarleton and Stedman reflect on 
his lordship in very plain terms, for not pursuing 
Greene from the Keedy Fork, because they thought 
that, by so doing, he might have intercepted his 
supplies, or cut off his reinforcements, which were 
approaching from the east ; and certainly, if either 
of these things had been done, it might have entirely 
changed the final results. But he had already given 
Greene one long, hard and fruitless chase, which had 
only worried his troops, without any advantage, and 
no wonder he was unwilling to try it again. He 
could depend on the valor and discipline of his 
troops ; but in stratagem and manceuvering, Greene 
was fully his match ; so that he acted wisely, we 
suppose, in saving his men for the general conflict, 
which he knew must come, and in which he could 
have better hopes of success. Instead of pursuing 
the Americans beyond the Eeedy Fork, he turned 
back, and quartered his army mostly on the Whig 
portions of Old Guilford, going from one settlement 


to another, as necessity required, until the battle 
which forced him to leave the country. On the 
night after the skirmish at Wetzell's mill, he had 
his head-quarters at Alton's ; but that was too small 
an affair to be noticed in his general orders. (See 
Appendix, Orders for March 6 and 7, 1781.) 

From the skirmish at Wetzell's mill, until the 
battle at the Court House, Cornwallis remained in 
this county, quartering his army on the inhabitants, 
and remaining about two clays in a place. Thus we 
find them successively at Alton's, Duffield's, Gorrell's, 
McQuisten's, and Deep river; but we have no par- 
ticulars except what we get from the traditions of 
the country. 

On the 7th or 8th, their light troops were quar- 
tered on the plantation of William Eankin, a man 
in good circumstances, a sound Whig, and a mem- 
ber in the Buffalo church. As Cornwallis, when 
passing through the north side of this county in 
pursuit of Greene, had offered a reward for Dr. 
Caldwell, he felt that neither himself nor anything 
he had was safe at home, and, thinking Eankin's 
house, which was in a retired situation and remote 
from any public road, a place of more security than 
his own, he had sent there, privately, some of his 
most valuable books and papers ; but the dragoons 
coming on these books, while searching and plun- 
dering the house, and finding his name in them, took 
the whole, books and papers together, and threw 
them into the fire. 

No British officer during the war, except, per- 
haps, Colonel Fanning, was guilty of more heartless 


cruelty, or showed a greater destitution of those 
humane and honorable feelings, which have been the 
boast of Protestant nations, than Colonel Tarleton. 
While the army was quartered at Rankin's, and in 
the neighborhood, he was scouring the country one 
moroing, at the head of his dragoons, for the pur- 
pose of getting information of General Greene's 
movements, and of giving protection to the forage- 
wagons, when he met old John McClintock on the 
High Rock road, and near the place where Milton 
Cunningham now lives. McClintock, then an old 
grey-headed man, was the maternal grandfather of 
the present Judge Dick — to whom I am indebted 
for the incident — and lived on the south side of the 
Reedy Fork, only a mile or two from the place 
where he met Tarleton. Having learned that the 
British were on the North Buffalo, five or six miles 
below, he had gone over the creek to inform his son 
in-law, Samuel Thompson — oldest son of Robert 
Thompson, who was killed by Gov. Tryon on the 
morning of the Regulation battle — that he might 
escape, and was now returning home. After asking 
McClintock a number of questions, such as, where 
he lived, &c, Tarleton asked him if he had ever 
seen Lee's troop of cavalry ; to which he replied in 
the negative. " Well," said Tarleton, pointing back 
to his dragoons, "there they are. This is Colonel 
Lee's troop." He next asked him where he was 
going ? To which he replied, in perfect simplicity, 
and without a thought of being duped, that he had 
been over the creek to inform his son-in-law, Samuel 
Thompson, of the enemy's approach, and was now 


returning. Tarleton then told Mm to turn about 
and go along with him ; and, supposing that he was 
with Colonel Lee, he promptly obeyed. As they 
started off together, side by side, Tarleton said to 
him, "I presume, sir, you are too old to right or be 
on the muster-list, but if the British were to come 
along, what would you do ?" " Blood !" said the old 
man, the fire of patriotism kindling in him, and 
using his common word of affirmation, "Blood! I 
would shoot at them as long as I could stand to 
shoot." " You infernal old rebel I" said Tarleton ; 
" I have a mind to blow out your brains," at the 
same time drawing and presenting his pistol. " We 
are the British, and I am Colonel Tarleton." Then, 
turning his pistol in his hand, he rubbed the butt 
end of it on his nose, and told him to kiss that, for 
a d — d old rascal. Such a wanton insult, offered to 
a man of his age and respectability, can excite 
no other feelings than those of indignation. But 
this was not all, nor the worst ; for, holding his pis- 
tol still in the same position, he struck the old man 
on the head with the butt of it, and knocked him 
off his horse. Having done so, he told him he might 
go now, but he must leave his horse, which was a 
very valuable one ; and then leaving him to die or 
get home in the best way he could, he went on his 
way. As the troop rode by, he saw his son-in-law, 
Thompson, among them ; for they had either come 
by his house or met with him on the road, and 
taken him prisoner. 

They were obliged to change their locality every 
day or two, in order to procure sustenance for man 


and horse ; but the Order Book contains nothing 
except the detail of sentinels, picquets and foraging 
parties. (See Appendix, Orders for March 7, 8, 9, 
10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 1781.) 

"While his lordship was thus leisurely passing 
through the country, desolating every plantation on 
which he camped, and every neighborhood through 
which he passed, he was not altogether unmolested ; 
for the traditions of the country are confirmed by 
the statements of Tarleton, who, when speaking of 
their course after the skirmish at Wetzell's mill, 
says, "They accordingly moved in a south-west 
direction for a few days, while Gen. Greene col- 
lected, without molestation, his militia, his eighteen 
months' men, and his continentals ; when he ad- 
vanced towards a good position over the Eeedy 
Fork with an army of seven thousand men, and 
pushed forward his light troops to attack the rear 
of the British as they crossed a branch of Deep 
river. The legion dragoons repulsed the enemy's 
detachment with some loss, and the royal army 
encamped on the 13th at the Quaker's meeting- 
house." About fifteen years ago, James Edwards, 
a member of the Quaker Society, who lived some 
three or four miles from New Garden, and who 
was, at the time of the skirmish, about twenty-one 
years of age, gave me, in substance, the following 
account : — 

In the afternoon of Tuesday, the day on which 
the British left McCuisten's and Dr. Caldwell's, he 
said they heard distinctly at his father's, a mile or 
two distant, the firing of pistols and a desperate 


screaming of the women and children attached to 
the army. Next morning, Wednesday, he passed 
by the place, in company with his father and one 
or two of the neighbors, on their way to meeting 
at New Garden, and they counted twenty-six horses 
lying dead on the ground, nine of which were 
within a space of twenty steps, and the rest were 
scattered about in every direction. Four or five of 
them were iron-greys, and the others were mostly 
of a bay-color; but they had all been fine horses. 
Their attention was presently attracted by their 
dogs to a large, hollow log, which was near a 
spring and about two hundred yards distant. As 
the wolves were then numerous and were following 
in the course of the army, like jackal's, they sup- 
posed that one had got into the log, where the dogs 
were baying it; but, on going up, they found a dead 
man in the log. He had crawled in and died there'; 
but whether he was British or American, they did 
not know. They filled up the open end of the log 
with stones and brush, which was all the funeral 
honors he ever received, and there his mouldering 
dust probably remains to this day. Edwards said 
he understood that two of the British were killed 
on the ground; but how many were wounded on 
either side, he never learned. One of Col. Lee's 
men was so badly wounded that he died within a 
few days at a house in the neighborhood, and Ed- 
wards said that he nursed him, or attended on him 
regularly until the night before he died. This 
affair happened a little above what is still called 
Edward's Cross Roads; and, as he had, at my re- 


quest, accompanied me from his own house, he 
took me to the spring near which they found the 
dead man in the hollow log, but both man and log 
had disappeared. 

Gen. Greene now had his camp in an advan- 
tageous position near Speedwell Iron Works, and 
only twelve or fifteen miles from the Court-house. 
One end of the encampment was about half a mile 
north-east from the " Works," and extended a mile 
along the road towards Danville, where the traces 
of his entrenchments are still seen. He had been 
endeavoring all along to draw his enemy towards 
Martinville, the ground selected as the scene of 
conflict, more than a month before, when on his 
retreat to the Dan ; and this fact is noticed by Sted- 
man, who, when speaking of his movement just 
before the skirmish at Wetzell's Mill, says, " The 
American light troops and militia were posted 
upon the branches of the Eeedy Fork, whilst Gen. 
Greene, with the main arnry, inclined towards Guil- 
ford Court-house." The pending contest was viewed 
by the whole community, Whigs and Tories, with in- 
creasing interest as the time approached ; for much 
was at stake, and a wrong move by either of the 
commanders was likely to involve himself and his 
cause in ruin. British valor and discipline were 
regarded by the Tories as invincible, and had a 
kind of talismanic influence. They could hardly 
believe that after Gates' defeat, the retreat of Gen. 
Greene, and the uniform success of the British arms 
hitherto, the Americans would again risk a general 
engagement, and were therefore hoping for a speedy 


termination of the contest. The Whigs were en- 
couraged by the increased numbers of Gen. Greene 
and the protection of a Higher Power. On both 
sides there was full confidence in the commanders ; 
for their courage and ability had been fully tried, 
and they were well matched ; but as the one had 
always been victorious, and the other never had 
known what it was to gain a victory, if he should 
gain one now it would be because " The race is not 
to the swift nor the battle to the strong." 

Having received his expected reinforcements, con- 
sisting of a brigade of militia from Virginia, under 
Gen. Lawson, two from North Carolina, under Gene- 
rals Butler and Eaton, and four hundred regulars, 
raised for eighteen months, Gen. Greene lost no 
time in giving his enemy battle. His whole force 
now amounted to four thousand two hundred and 
forty-three foot, and one hundred and sixty-one 
cavalry, only one thousand four hundred and ninety 
of which were regular troops, and some of them 
were new levies. The different corps and brigades 
were as follows: — Huger's brigade of Virginia 
continentals, seven hundred and seventy- eight ; 
Williams' Maryland brigade and a company of 
Dela wares, six hundred and thirty; infantry of 
Lee's legion, eighty -two; total of continental regu- 
lars, one thousand four hundred and ninety. Two 
brigades of North Carolina militia, one thousand 
and sixty; two brigades of Virginia militia, one 
thousand six hundred and ninety-three — total, two 
thousand seven hundred and fifty -three. Washing- 
ton's light dragoons, eighty; Lee's legion, seventy- 


five; and forty horse under the Marquis of Bre- 
tagne, a French nobleman, were added next day. 
Thinking himself now strong enough to meet his 
enemy, Gen. Greene called in his light troops 
under Williams, formed the whole into one army, 
and on the 14th, moved down to Martinville, where 
he encamped for the night, and convenient to 
the destined scene of action. Cornwallis being 
informed of this movement on the part of General 
Greene, immediately prepared for the conflict, by 
calling in the pickets and mill-guard, and by de- 
taching Col. Hamilton with most of his baggage to 
Bell's Mill, escorted by his own regiment of North 
Carolinians, one hundred infantry and twenty cav- 
alry. Orders were given at night for an early 
move in the morning, and they started some time 
before day. — {See Appendix, Orders for March 14, 

How many of the British were engaged in the 
battle is uncertain. There may have been a good 
many Tories, and in this way the discrepancies 
between the British and American authorities might 
be reconciled ; for his lordship, from prudential 
considerations, makes no mention of that class, 
except the passing notice in his Order Book, which 
he did not expect would ever be seen in this country. 
They had some from the Scotch region ; for I have 
been told that Colonels Eay and McDougal were 
there; but how many men they had was never 
known. It is probable that Colonels Field and 
Bryan were there with their respective corps ; for 
it is said that Col. Field continued with them until 


they surrendered at Yorktown. How many men 
they had we cannot tell ; but, when mentioned in 
the Order Book, they had each of them men enough 
to have a special, separate and important service 
assigned them. Hardly any of the American his- 
torians estimate his force at less than from two 
thousand to twenty-four hundred, and, counting the 
Tories, it may have been considerably more. 

A battle was now certain ; but as the precise time 
when the British would approach could not be 
known, Col. Lee was sent out, probably the evening 
before, with his legion and a detachment of rifle- 
men, under Col. Campbell, to reconnoitre and com- 
municate intelligence. Above New Garden meeting 
house he met the British van, consisting of cavalry, 
some light infantry and Yagers, under Col. Tarleton. 
Lee, sending an express back to Gen. Greene, turned, 
and retreated slowly with the view of drawing them 
as far from the main army and as much towards 
Martinsville as possible. Tarleton — the fiery Tarle- 
ton — and his cavalry, pressed upon Capt. Armstrong, 
who was in the rear, in the hope of throwing them 
into confusion, but in vain. After a second charge, 
when their pistols were empty, Lee turned, and 
with the troops of Rudolph and Eggleston, in close 
column, rushed upon them with irresistible impetu- 
osity. Tarleton, knowing the superiority of the 
American horses, and fearing the consequences of 
such an onset, sounded a retreat; and only the front 
of the British cavalry dared to meet the shock ; but 
to many of them it was a fatal one. The men were 
dismounted, some were killed, many wounded, and 


others were made prisoners, while the horses were 
all thrown prostrate on the ground. Tarleton, un- 
willing to meet such another onset, returned towards 
the main army, but Lee, when pressing on with the 
hope of cutting off his retreat, came upon the British 
van-guard in the grove of lofty oaks by New Gar- 
den meeting-house, who instantly gave him a broad- 
side, and with considerable effect. He ordered a 
retreat ; but his infantry came running up and gave 
them a well directed fire, which being followed up 
by Campbell's riflemen, who had taken post on the 
left, the action became general, and the conflict 
severe. In a few minutes, Lee perceived that the 
main body of the British was approaching, and 
ordered a general retreat, falling in the rear himself 
with his cavalry to cover the infantry and riflemen. 
During this time, the express sent by Lee, arrived 
at head-quarters, and Gen. Greene prepared for 
battle, but the arrangements had been so distinctly 
made known, and so well understood beforehand, 
" that nothing more was necessary than to give the 
order for every division to take its place." "So 
much care had been bestowed upon this subject that, 
during the whole of this hard fought day, there was 
no one instance of doubt or difficulty felt by any 
officer, as to the part or duty assigned him." 

Taking our stand at the court-house, the road 
to New Garden runs a little south of west, and the 
ground appears quite broken. On descending the 
hill from the court-house, you cross a branch run- 
ning north, and then you ascend a short but steep 
hill. About forty steps further you cross a spring 


drain, or kind of ravine running north-east and 
uniting with the branch at a short distance below. 
Then you ascend a long hill or slope with an old 
field on each side of the road, to a wood, which, at 
this point, was about a quarter of a mile wide, and 
extended more than a mile north and south. Be- 
yond this wood there were cultivated fields on both 
sides of the road; and the fences running north and 
south, on the side of the road next to the court- 
house, were nearly on a line. Behind these fences 
the militia of North Carolina were drawn up. 
Eaton's brigade on the north side, and Butler's on 
the south side of the road, while the artillery, con- 
sisting of four six pounders, under the command of 
Lieutenants Singleton and Finley, took its position 
in the road nearly between the two brigades. 

Parallel with it, and at the distance of two or 
three hundred yards in the woods, was placed the 
line of Virginia militia, Lawson's brigade on the 
north side, and that of Stephens' on the south side 
of the road. By the advice of Gen. Morgan, a 
number of riflemen were stationed a few rods behind 
them, with orders to shoot down every man who 
attempted to run ; and this measure probably had 
some good effect. Lawson's men were all raw 
militia, but a number of those under Stephens had 
seen service before, and the rest were mostly vol- 
unteers. This made the difference in their firmness 
and efficiency during the action. The firmness 
with which men will face an army of veteran troops 
in battle depends on circumstances. Volunteers 
will do better than those who are forced into the 

.me^Vrriene an ^ If r i 



l\ x \V" 

■ATTLE §F ®y ILf Q)iP, 

Fought on the 15* of March. 1781. 

ooO€S> »- 


One Erujlisk J/t/e 


ES mK'e rathe ^Vmeric an a ///I r r 


Fought on the 15* of March. 1781. 

One EiufluA Mile 


service ; and men of intelligence and virtue, who 
value their characters and feel that they have much 
at stake, will fight better than others, but cannot 
stand long before disciplined and veteran troops. 

In the rear of both these lines, at the distance of 
three or four hundred yards, on the high ground 
north of the road and not far from the court-house, 
the continentals were posted, not in a straight line, 
but forming an obtuse angle, and thus presenting a 
double front. The Virginia brigade of continentals 
under Gen. Huger, consisted of two regiments, one 
commanded by Col. Green, and the other by Lieut. 
Col. Hawes, and composed the right. The Mary- 
land brigade, under the command of Col. Williams, 
also consisted of two regiments, one led by Col. 
Gunby, the other by Lieut.-Col. Ford, and com- 
posed the left. Col. Green with his regiment lay 
near the court-house and was not brought into the 
action, but was held as a reserve for any emergency 
that might occur. Col. Washington with his cavalry, 
Cap. Kirkwood with his old " Delaware Blues," and 
Col. Lynch with a battalion of Virginia militia were 
posted on the right for the support of that flank. 
Col. Lee with his legion and a corps of riflemen 
under Col. Campbell was posted on the southern 
extremity for the support of the left flank. 

With the American army thus drawn up in battle 
array before us, imagining, if we can, the intense 
anxiety which then reigned in thousands of hearts, 
on the battle field and all over the country — anxiety 
for the results in regard to the freedom and inde- 
pendence for which they were periling life and 


everything dear, anxiety for the life of husbands, 
fathers, sons and brothers — let us go forward to the 
North Carolina line, so advantageously posted 
behind the fence, and look at the ground beyond. 

From that point the road passes down a long 
slope of three or four hundred yards to a small 
creek, and beyond that you see a long ascent skirted 
on both sides with quite a dense growth of timber, 
and extending far on both sides, Down that long 
descent the British advanced, in solid column, with 
a firm step and with full confidence in their own 
prowess. As soon as they came in sight, Captain 
Singleton, of the American artillery, commenced an 
ineffectual cannonade ; and Captain McLeod, who 
commanded the British artillery, rushed forward, 
planted his guns on the eminence and returned the 
fire. For twenty minutes or more, a brisk can- 
nonade was kept up on both sides, but without 
much damage to either. One or two of Butler's 
men, and nearly the whole of Singleton's artillery 
horses were killed, while the British received little 
or no injury; but under cover of the smoke raised by 
their own cannon, which concealed them from the 
view of the Americans, the different brigades and 
corps of the British army filed off to the right and 
left, with perfect regularity and in exact accordance 
with previous orders, showing the effect of strict 
discipline and of long experience in the service. 
The famous 71st regiment of Scotch Highlanders, 
commanded by Col. Frazer, took position next to 
the road; the Hessian regiment of Bose, on their 
right ; and the whole under the command of Major- 


General Leslie. The first battalion of guards, under 
command of Lieutenant-Colonel Norton, were at 
some distance in the rear, kept as a reserve, and 
intended to support the right flank, as circum- 
stances might require. Colonel Tarleton, with his 
dragoons, who had done so much hard fighting with 
Col. Lee, in the morning, was "held as a reserve, 
with orders to move under cover of the woods on 
the road side, waiting on the artilery," but ready to 
act in support of the right flank, should it become 
necessary. The 23d and 33d regiments under the 
command of Col. Webster, filed off to the left or 
north side of the road ; and the second battalion of 
guards, with the grenadiers of the same corps, under 
the command of Gen. O'Hara, were in the rear for 
the support of that wing. The Yagers and light 
infantry of the guards were kept with the artilery in 
the woods until the line was ready to advance and 
then they attached themselves to the 33d regiment. 
When they began to advance through the open fields 
at the distance of half a mile, they made a very 
gorgeous and imposing appearance. It was about 
noon and the sun was shining in its meridian 
splendor. The air was a little keen, but not pierc- 
ing. Their scarlet uniforms, burnished armor, and 
gay banners floating in the breeze contrasted 
strongly with the sombre and deathlike appearance 
of nature, as they advanced with firm and measured 
step to the work of human slaughter. The 23d and 
33d regiments, under Col. Webster, supported on 
their left by the second battalion of guards, with 
the grenadiers, Yagers, and light infantry belonging 


to the brigade of guards, were confronted with Gen. 
Eaton's brigade, which was supported on the right 
by Col. Washington with his cavalry, Kirkwood 
with his Delawares and a corps of riflemen under 
Col. Lynch. On the south side, the 71st regiment 
of Highlanders, under Frazer, were opposed to 
Butler's brigade, and the Hessians under Bose, with 
the reserve, met Lee's legion and Campbell's rifle- 

It is not a matter of much surprise that raw 
militia, just drafted for the occasion, and under 
militia officers not one of whom had ever seen an 
engagement, could not stand before such a military 
array as was now coming against them. They soon 
gave way and fled ; but not so basely as has been 
commonly represented, nor until they had " made 
their mark." According to British historians and 
the traditions of the country, I believe that much 
the larger part of the line fired once ; but it was at 
such a distance and perhaps with so much trepida- 
tion that it was probably not in general very effective. 
Some of them acted nobly, stood firm, and did much 
execution, and of this there is ample proof. Some 
fourteen years ago I became acquainted with a 
respectable old man who was one of Lee's cavalry 
on that day, and he told me that as the Hessians 
were approaching the fence they received a very 
destructive fire, which they returned, and then 
rushed up, intending to cross the fence, and drive 
them at the point of the bayonet; but the Ameri- 
cans clubbed their guns and beat them back. They 
retreated then about forty yards, when they reloaded 


and fired again, intending, as before, to rush up, 
force their way over the fence, and get where they 
could use the bayonet to advantage, but by this 
time the riflemen were ready for them, and gave 
them another galling fire, which made them recoil, 
and threw them into some confusion. On seeing 
this Gen. Leslie ordered up some assistance, when 
they were obliged to give way a little ; but the 
contest was continued there to the close. "We shall 
have more to say about this matter in another place ; 
and therefore leaving them for the present thus 
engaged, we return to the road where the High- 
landers were engaged. 

The Colonel who ought to have commanded one 
of the regiments in Butler's brigade, was, that 
morning, appointed to some other service, and the 
command of the regiment given to Arthur Forbis, 
a militia captain, who, with about half his company, 
had volunteered a few days before, for the occasion, 
and who, though he had never seen a battle, was as 
brave a man as walked the ground on that day. He 
and his company, with a number of other riflemen, 
volunteers from Guilford and other counties, who, 
being of kindred spirit and previously acquainted, 
associated with him, gave one deliberate fire, which 
is known to have been a very destructive one, and 
many of them gave two fires, nor would he yield 
till the enemy were within a few steps. Some of 
his men were killed, others were wounded and his 
own life was made a sacrifice to the cause of free- 

Of Eaton's brigade, very little is said in history ; 


but, only one of the brigade being reported as killed 
and two or three wounded, the presumption is that 
they were not much exposed to danger. Probably 
many of them gave one fire, and then disappeared. 
When the front line gave way, the British rushed 
forward with a loud shout of triumph to encounter 
the Yirginians, and expected similar success, but 
there they met with a warmer reception, for they 
received such a galling fire from the flanking parties 
under Lee and Washington that they were obliged 
to halt and make other arrangements. The 33d regi- 
ment of Webster's brigade was wheeled half round to 
the left, in order to face the American reserve under 
Washington, and the Hessian regiment of Bose was 
wheeled round to the right in the same way, to face 
Lee and Campbell, which caused such a separation 
between the two wings that both their covering 
parties, consisting of the two battalions of guards, the 
Yagers and light infantry of the guards had to be 
brought forward to fill up the vacancy. Thus the 
whole British army was brought into line and ap- 
pear to have all been engaged at the same time. 
The brigade of Stephens being mostly volunteers, 
and many of their officers and men having been 
in battle before, maintained their ground with 
considerable firmness and, for some time, the con- 
flict was fierce and bloody. Lawson's brigade being 
raw militia, and mostly drafted for the occasion, 
first yielded, wheeling round behind Stephens' 
brigade, and then retreated with precipitancy and 
confusion. The brigade of Stephens quickly follow- 
ing, they both retreated with all the speed they 


could, and by making a circuit through the fields 
and woods entered the village on the south side, 
where they became spectators of the remaining acts 
in the scene. Col. Webster having followed the 
Virginia militia to the Salisbury road and driven 
them from the field, was now at liberty to turn his 
attention to any part of the continental line he 
chose and, unfortunately for himself, he advanced 
upon the first regiment of Marylanders, which hap- 
pened to be the most convenient. This was the 
regiment which, under Col. Howard, had so much 
distinguished itself at the battle of the Cowpens and 
was now commanded by Col. Gunby, an officer, 
who was in every respect worthy to have the com- 
mand of such a corps. With perfect composure 
they waited till the enemy approached within con- 
venient distance, when they poured upon them such 
a destructive fire that it produced a general recoil 
and made it necessary for Col. Webster to retreat 
over the ravine, then boldly and promptly descend- 
ing into the plain, they followed up the advantage 
which they had gained with so much skill and 
energy that they produced a complete route. 

Had either of the cavalry corps been convenient 
at the moment the battle might have been decided, 
for the 33d regiment and the two light companies 
which attended it must have surrendered ; and as 
they numbered not less than four hundred in all, 
Cornwallis would have been obliged to order a re- 
treat. This was the critical moment and the turning 
point. The British historians, Tarleton and Sted- 
man, charge Gen. Greene with an oversight in not 


improving this advantage which, they admit, would 
have been decisive of the contest, and Johnson says 
that, " this was the most trying moment of Gen. 
Greene's military life." He could have ordered up 
another corps to improve the advantage gained, and 
such a movement if executed with courage and 
promptness must have decided the fate of the day, 
and saved a great deal of bloodshed ; but there was 
too much risk to be run. It would have taken him 
from the advantageous position which he occupied 
and probably engaged him with the mass of the 
British army in the plain. The whole line were 
new recruits except about five hundred, Gunby's 
regiment and Kirkwood's Delawares ; under these 
circumstances, he recalled Gunby with his regi- 
ment to their former position ; and, in doing so, he 
showed his wisdom, as was soon proved by the 
conduct of the 2d Maryland regiment. Instead of 
blaming, we admire the patriotism and good sense 
of the man who, for the good of his country, could 
resist such a temptation, and such a prospect of 
gaining a victory with lasting honor to himself. 

In this encounter with Gunby's regiment, Col. 
"Webster was severely wounded, but he drew off 
his men over the ravine to the edge of the woods, 
where he awaited the advance of other regiments. 
During this time, Captain McLeod had brought up 
the royal artillery, and had taken a fine position on 
the high ground at the edge of the woods. The 
second battalion of guards, under the command of 
Lieut-Col. Stuart, in a few minutes swept across the 
open ground, and attacked the 2d regiment of 


Marylanders under Col. Ford, who, being new 
recruits, soon gave way and disappointed the hopes 
of the whole army, but especially of their heroic 
commander, Col. Williams. By order of General 
Leslie, the 71st and 23d regiments were now brought 
forward, leaving the regiment of Bose, as the Vir- 
ginians were all gone, to maintain the contest with 
Campbell's riflemen ; and Gen. O'Hara, with the 
2d battalion and grenadiers of the guards, was 
advancing at the same time and towards the same 
point. On perceiving that the forces of the enemy 
were converging to the American left, Col. Washing- 
ton, followed by his cavalry, galloped off towards 
that point and passed ahead of the 23d and 71st 
regiments. When the 2d Maryland regiment gave 
way, the guards under Col. Stuart, passed on with 
a shout of triumph and took the American six 
pounders, but Washington with his cavalry, made 
such a furious attack upon them from the rear, that 
he broke through the line, producing as he went, 
great slaughter on every side, and re-took the six 
pounders. In this he was nobly seconded by the 
1st regiment of Marylanders, which was now com- 
manded by Lieut.-Col. Howard, Col. Gunby having 
been unhorsed in the severe conflict with the 33d 
regiment under Col. Webster, but owing to the 
direction in which the enemy approached, a small 
thicket of bushes had hitherto concealed it from 
their notice. With heroic courage and great prompt- 
ness, it now rushed upon them from the left, when 
one of the most fierce and bloody conflicts ensued 
that was anywhere known during the war. It was 


hand to hand, and the slaughter was terrible. About 
fourteen years ago, Nathaniel Slacle, an old and 
respectable citizen of Caswell, who was one of 
Butler's men on that day, and who, after the retreat, 
had stopped with many others, at the court-house, 
to witness the meeting of the British with the con- 
tinentals in the Old Field, told me that this conflict 
between the brigade of guards and the first regiment 
of Marylanders, was most terrific ; for they fired at 
the same instant, and they had approached so near 
that the blazes from the muzzles of their guns 
seemed to meet. These two corps were the boasts 
of their respective armies, and on many a bloody 
field, both officers and men had acquired a reputa- 
tion for bravery, which they were determined to 
maintain. Probably pride and a spirit of revenge 
had as much to do in producing this bloody strife, 
as feelings of patriotism or a simple desire of vic- 
tory; and for illustration, we quote a fact from 
Johnson. " Colonel Stuart, of the guards, and 
Captain Smith, of the Marylanders, were both men 
conspicuous for nerve and sinew. They had also 
met before on some occasion, and had vowed that 
their next meeting should end in blood. Kegard- 
less of ihe bayonets that were clashing around them, 
they rushed at each other with a fury that admitted 
of but one result. The quick pass of Stuart's small 
sword was skilfully put by with the left hand, 
whilst the heavy sabre of his antagonist cleft the 
Briton to the spine. In one moment the American 
was prostrate on the lifeless body of his enemy, but 
only stunned, and in the next, he was pressed 


beneath the weight of the soldier who had brought 
him to the ground. A ball discharged at Smith's 
head as his sword descended on that of Stuart, had 
grazed it and brought him to the ground, at the 
instant that the bayonet of a favorite soldier, who 
always sought the side of his captain in the hour of 
danger, pierced the heart of one who appears to 
have been equally watchful over the safety of the 
British colonel. 

For some time victory had been perching alter- 
nately on the banners of the two armies, first on one 
side and then on the other ; but now she seemed to 
be hovering midway between them, and while it 
was manifest that a few minutes more would end 
the conflict, it was altogether doubtful in whose 
favor it would be decided. This corps, the 2d bat- 
talion of guards, including the grenadiers, numbered 
three hundred and fifty ; and, being the flower of the 
British army, if it could be vanquished, a shout of 
triumph would immediately ascend from the Ame- 
rican ranks. Of course, every eye was directed to 
that spot, and both the commanders, anxious for 
the result, and regardless of everything else, were 
equally drawn towards it, and with a full conviction 
of its bearing upon the final issue. 

Col. Washington, seeing Lord Cornwallis com- 
pletely within his reach, waved his sword to some 
of his officers to follow him and moved off to seize 
the prize ; but the string of his cap broke and it 
fell from his head. While dismounting to recover 
it, his lordship, without being at all aware of his 
danger, or thinking of his personal safety, went 


away to put in execution one of those dreadful 
expedients which commanders sometimes adopt, in 
extreme cases, rather than lose a victory. As the 
guards were beginning to yield and it was becoming 
manifest that their discomfiture was inevitable with- 
out some desperate measure, he went to the high 
ground near the woods, where the artillery was 
posted ; and, to arrest the progress of the Ameri- 
cans, directed M'Leod to pour vollies of grape shot 
through the ranks of his own men. OTIara, then 
bleeding copiously from his wounds, remonstrated, 
but in vain. The expedient succeeded ; but, by 
this measure, coming on the back of what had been 
done by the swords and muskets, this battalion was 
half destroyed. During this time, the 71st and 2 3d 
had come into the field and Cornwallis was again 
forming his line. The guards were all up, and the 
33d, which had been drawn off by Col. Webster, was 
returning from its covert in the woods to resume its 
place on the left. 

When the first battalion of guards, which had 
been ordered up, was approaching the road in which 
Gen. Greene was anxiously observing the move- 
ments, he was concealed from their view by a row 
of bushes which lined the margin of the road ; but 
Major Morris, one of his aids, perceived the clanger 
and gave him notice, when, with that presence of 
mind which is ever characteristic of a hero and an 
experienced soldier, he managed so as not to attract 
their attention, by moving off at a walk and thus 
escaped a volley of musketry which would probably 
have terminated his military career. 


The issue was now at hand and was beginning to 
be anticipated on both sides. Some cannonading 
was still kept up and there was an occasional volley 
of musketry in different parts of the field ; but the 
result of the whole evidently depended on the 
American left. The British army was all again in 
line, except the regiment of Bose which was still 
warmly engaged with Lee and Campbell, far away 
to the south and near a mile from the scene of con- 
flict with the Continentals. The militia were all 
gone; the 2d Maryland regiment was gone, and 
there was remaining only Kirkwood with his Dela- 
wares and Lynch with the infantry of Washington's 
covering party to aid the 1st regiment of Maryland- 
ers, who had already done and suffered so much. 
When the 1st battalion of guards, under Norton, 
which had formed the covering party on the British 
right, was recalled and brought into the old field, 
Col. Lee sent off his cavalry towards the American 
left and soon after sent his legion to the same place. 
Bose was then left to contend with Campbell's rifle- 
men aided by a few volunteers from Stephens' 
brigade and from Guilford county. From the first, 
or after the two or three first fires, the conflict with 
the Hessians was kept up by alternately advancing 
and retreating. 

On my first visit to the battle-ground, I was ac- 
companied by Robert Eankin, of the Buffalo con- 
gregation, who went from home that morning as a 
volunteer, and fell in with Campbell's riflemen. 
After showing a tree from behind which he fired 
two or three times, and reciting several incidents, 


he told me that when they were ready to fire, the 
Hessians retreated, and they pursued, until they 
delivered their fire, when they had to retreat in 
turn. The Hessians then fired, raised the shout, and 
charged with the bayonet, driving the Americans 
before them until they could reload. This alternate 
advancing and retreating continued, the Americans 
driven a little further every time by the use of the 
bayonet, until they were at least a mile from the 
Court House, and nearly due south. After Lee 
sent off his cavalry, and his legion, the volunteers, 
mostly dropped off about the same time, and Camp- 
bell's riflemen kept up a firing, which had no 
great effect, but served to keep the enemy em- 
ployed. Cornwallis finding that the Hessians were 
still engaged in the woods to the south, sent Tarleton 
with his dragoons to extricate them, and bring them 
up, which he did, and with some loss to the rifle- 
men, as they were then wholly unsupported. When 
the regiment of Bose appeared in the open ground, 
advancing to their place in the lines, accompanied 
by Tarleton's dragoons, General Greene ordered a 
retreat. He was about to be overpowered by num- 
bers, and he had previously resolved not to risk 
the destruction of his army. Webster was advan- 
cing through the field with the 33d regiment, in 
good order, and aiming to turn the American right. 
As there was nothing more to be gained by con- 
tinuing the conflict, he ordered Col. Greene with 
his regiment of Virginia Continentals, which, 
having been posted on the extreme right, had not 
been engaged, to advance and cover the retreat. 


"The 23d and 71st regiments, with part of the 
cavalry," Stedman says, "were at first sent in pur- 
suit, but afterwards received orders to return. It 
is probable that, as the British Commander became 
more acquainted with all the circumstances of the 
action, and the number of the killed and wounded, 
he found it necessary to countermand his orders, 
and desist from the pursuit." 

After going about three miles, General Greene 
halted for an hour or two to refresh his troops, and 
then proceeded to his camp beyond the Iron Works, 
where they arrived before day, all in good spirits, 
and ready to meet the enemy again. In his dis- 
patch, written a day or two after the battle, he says 
that the distance was " ten miles ;" but we who 
live in this region, and so often travel the road, 
know that it is not less than fifteen miles. All the 
officers on both sides, who afterwards became his- 
torians, Lee Tarleton and Stedman, speak of this as 
one of the hardest fought battles in which they 
had been engaged. Tarleton says it was " one of 
the most hazardous, as well as severe battles that 
occurred during the war." The British authorities 
magnify the number under Gen. Greene, beyond all 
bounds; but they seem to have depended on 
rumor. As Stedman, when he had correct informa- 
tion, was a candid and reliable author, we shall 
here give, for the satisfaction of the reader, his 
account in full. 

In this battle the British troops obtained a victory 
most honorable and glorious to themselves, but in 
its consequences of no real advantage to the cause 


in which they were engaged. They attacked and 
defeated an army of more than three times their 
own number, not taken by surprise, but formed in 
regular order of battle, and ready to engage, an army 
too, that is allowed on all hands to have been strongly 
and judiciously posted, on ground chosen with care, 
and most excellently adapted to the nature of the 
troops that occupied it. The resistance of the enemy 
was in proportion to the advantages they possessed ; 
nor did they yield but with extreme reluctance. 
Even the militia, encouraged by their position, 
fought with bravery, and greatly weakened the 
British line before it reached the continentals. The 
Virginia militia, who composed the second Ameri- 
can line, did not quit their ground, it is said, until 
their commander, seeing them no longer able to 
withstand the attack of regular troops, and ready to 
be overpowered, gave orders for a retreat. A vic- 
tory achieved under such disadvantages of numbers 
and ground, was of the most honorable kind, and 
placed the bravery and discipline of the troops be- 
yond all praise ; but the expense at which it was 
obtained rendered it of no utility. Before the pro- 
vincials finally retreated, more than one-third of all 
the British troops engaged had fallen. The whole 
loss, according to the official returns, amounted to 
rive hundred and thirty -two. 

The destruction of life was great on both sides ; 
but owing to the use of the rifle and the protected 
situation of the militia, it was greater on the part of 
the enemy. They admitted, as we have seen, a loss 
in killed and wounded, of five hundred and thirty- 


two; but General Greene thought he had good 
authority for saying that they lost six hundred and 
thirty-three. The loss of the Americans, in killed 
and wounded could never be ascertained with entire 
certainty, but it was between two and three hundred. 
In proportion to their numbers, the two battalions 
of guards did the most hard fighting, and were the 
greatest sufferers. The first battalion, which, it will 
be recollected, was the covering party to the British 
right, and at the outset, were opposed to the Ameri- 
can covering party under Lee and Campbell, " had 
suffered greatly." Stedman says, " in ascending a 
woody height to attack the second line of the Ameri- 
cans, strongly posted upon the top of it, who, avail- 
ing themselves of the advantages of their situation, 
retired, as soon as they had discharged their pieces, 
behind the brow of the hill, which protected them 
from the shot of the guards, and returned, as- soon 
as they had loaded, and were again in readiness to 
fire." Notwithstanding the disadvantages under 
which the attack was made, the guards reached the 
summit of the eminence, and put the American line 
to flight ; but no sooner was it done than another 
line of the Americans presented itself to view, 
extending far beyond the right of the guards, and 
inclining towards their flank, so as almost to encom- 
pass them. The ranks of the guards had been 
thinned in ascending the height, and a number of 
their officers had fallen." 

When this battalion was brought into action with 
the Continentals, " the fire being repeated and con- 
tinued, and from the great extent of their line, 


being poured in, not only on the front but on the 
flanks of the battalion, completed its confusion and 
disorder," as above related, " and notwithstanding 
every exertion made by the remaining officers, it 
was at last entirely broke." Johnson says that 
Tarleton was sent off to extricate the Hessian regi- 
ment, and bring it up ; Tarleton and Steclman say, 
that the regiment of Bose came up just when the 
1st battalion was in its broken state, and, at the 
request of Col. Norton, aided in forming it again 
into line, but the difference could not be more than 
a very few minutes. 

The British loss in officers was very heavy. One 
colonel and four commissioned officers were killed 
on the field. Col. Webster and Captains Maynard, 
Schultz, Goodriche, and a number of others, died of 
their wounds soon after. Gen. O'Hara received two 
wounds, and was so severely injured that it was for 
some time, doubtful whether he would recover ; and 
Gen. Howard, who had volunteered on the occasion, 
was also wounded, but not dangerously. Tarleton 
got a slight wound from the riflemen in the w r oods, 
near the close of the engagement, and twenty other 
commissioned officers were in the number of the 
wounded. The disparity in the loss of officers, is 
ascribed chiefly, though not exclusively, to the fact 
that the Americans sheltered themselves behind 
trees, and a large number of them used the rifle, 
which enabled them to take aim, and to shoot with 
a good deal of precision at a greater distance. 

In regard to the whole number of British en- 
gaged, Stedman says, in a foot note, (p. 844,) that, 


" according to a return made by the adjutant of the 
day," the British troops engaged in the action, 
amounted to one thousand four hundred and forty- 
five; but he acknowledged a loss of five hundred 
and thirty-two, which would leave only nine hundred 
and thirteen, yet when at Wilmington, he says 
(p. 354,) they had one thousand four hundred and 
thirty-five, and a considerable number were known 
to have died in the meantime. In fact, they were 
dying all along the road, and sometimes, two, three 
and four in a night. From Stedman's own showing, 
then, it would seem that they must have had two 
thousand, and might have had twenty-five hundred. 
Besides, they had a number of loyalists, some of 
whom had been much in the British service. I have 
always understood that Colonels McDougal and Bay 
were there, probably with a number of followers ; 
but such men as Kay and McDougal, so brave and 
loyal, would not be there and take no part. Colonels 
Field and Bryant, one or both, were probably there 
with a number of men ; but only the regular army 
is reported ; and, for prudential reasons, there was 
no public notice of the loyalists. 

With respect to the courage and energy displaj^ed 
on both sides, we have already given the testimony 
of Tarleton and Stedman. The American officers 
speak of it in terms equally strong, and, according to 
a tradition which I consider perfectly reliable, Corn- 
wallis said, at Bell's Mill, two days after, that " he 
had never seen such fighting since God made him, 
and that another such victory would be his ruin." 

The commanders, about equal in ability and well 


aware of their responsibility, showed an utter disre- 
gard of their own safety, and an intense anxiety for 
the result. Rushing into the midst of danger, they 
were every where, each one most eagerly watching 
the movements made by the other and ready to make 
a counter one. They both ran great risk of being 
captured, and it is a mystery how they escaped un- 
hurt by the flying balls. Cornwallis had two horses 
killed under him, one of which, an iron-grey, of 
noble appearance and fine muscular power, was shot 
down, as I was informed, at the north end of the 
fence along the road now generally travelled from 
Greensborough to Bruce's cross-roads, but on the 
west side of the road. This will show his lordship's 
whereabouts at one period of the conflict, and may 
contribute a little to gratify the curiosity of the grow- 
ing numbers who visit the ground. It has been said, 
though I cannot vouch for its truth, that, near the 
close of the battle, a man from the south side of 
Guilford, had Cornwallis fairly within the range of 
his rifle, and snapped at him twice ; but, before he 
could get his gun to make fire, the fortunate Earl had 
passed beyond his reach. Gen. Greene was equally 
exposed and equally fortunate. In a letter written 
to his wife the day after the battle, he says : — " The 
action was long, bloody and severe, many fell, but 
none of your particular friends. Col. Williams, who 
is Adjutant-General, was very active and greatly 
exposed. I had not the honor of being wounded, 
but was very near being taken, having rode in the 
heat of the action full tilt, directly into the midst of 
the enemy ; but by Col. Morris' calling to me, and 


advertising me of my situation, I had just time to 
retire." His aids looked with amazement at his in- 
trepidity ; and he must have been under the shield 
of Divine protection. 

Some reflections have been cast on Gen. Greene 
for his arrangement of the militia, and especially 
for placing the raw undisciplined militia of North 
Carolina in front to receive the first onset of 
veteran troops — British troops, such as were 
accustomed to conquer in every part of the globe, 
and had never sustained a defeat. It seems to be 
admitted that Cornwallis, on that clay, commanded 
the best troops in the world, nearly every corps 
having been long renowned for their unyielding 
firmness and cool intrepidity. The 71st, or 
Frazer's Highlanders, and the Welsh Fusileers, 
had greatly distinguished themselves twelve or 
fifteen years before in the French war, both at 
Louisburg and in Canada. They were the first 
to scale the Heights of Abraham, under the eye 
of the intrepid Wolfe, and made the charge which 
defeated the French, and gained for the English a 
victory of immense importance. At the battle of 
Trenton, the 71st did so much execution as to 
attract the notice of Washington; and "on one 
occasion when Lieut.-Col. Maitland of the 71st, was 
in company with General Washington, he remarked 
jocosely, that to enable him to distinguish and 
do justice to the valor of this corps, the men 
should, in future, wear a red feather in their bon- 
nets, and they did so to the end of the war." In 
the battle of Cambden these Highlanders and the 


Welsh. Fusileers made that desperate charge which 
broke the centre of General Gate's army, and re- 
sulted in his defeat. They had signalized them- 
selves at Savannah, and had pursued Gen. Greene 
for some two hundred miles across the State for the 
purpose of bringing him to a pitched battle. 

" In this regiment alone — the 71st — five of the 
officers lived to attain the rank of Lieut-General, 
one that of General, two that of Colonel, three that 
of Lieut-Colonel, and some that of Major." The 
brigade, or two battalions of guards, were hardly 
less famous, and certainly had no less ambition to 
maintain their well earned character for firmness 
and intrepidity. In short every corps in the army 
had a world-wide reputation for valor and disci- 
pline ; and such was the army which was seen at 
the distance of half a mile or more advancing, in 
brilliant uniform, with burnished armor, and with 
firm deliberate step to encounter the front line. 

Did Gen. Greene treat the North Carolina militia 
with any injustice or unfairness when he placed 
them where they must meet the first onset of this 
formidable host ? or might it be regarded as a 
compliment ? We have neither military talents 
nor knowledge of military science enough to decide, 
and must leave it to others ; but what would have 
been the probable result if the arrangement had 
been reversed, or if the continentals had been 
placed in front and the militia in the rear ? Is it 
probable that the fourteen hundred and ninety 
regulars, only five or six hundred of whom had 
ever bsen in service before, would have been able 


to resist the entire British army, while it was 
undiminished and unwearied ? And if not, when 
they gave way would the militia have stood their 
ground any better ? It is doubtful ; and while 
Gen. Green's main dependence was in the Conti- 
nentals, he wished to have the enemy as much 
wearied and crippled as possible before he encoun- 
tered them with the most reliable part of his force 
The North Carolina militia might think them- 
selves honored in having the post of danger assigned 
them ; and there were other reasons for putting them 
in that position. It was supposed that as they were 
on their own territory, defending their property, 
their wives and children, their homes and their 
altars, if they would fight any where or at any time 
they would do it there and then. Their position 
was in some respects favorable ; for they were 
behind a rail fence, which, though rotten, was some 
advantage. The British historians, Tarleton and 
Stedman, both of whom were military men and 
present on the occasion, compliment Gen. Greene, 
not only for his selection of the ground, but for the 
arrangement of his forces. In fact they found 
fault with nothing he did, except one thing, which 
they termed an oversight in the heat of the engage- 
ment with the regulars, and which we have already 
noticed ; nor do I recollect that the least censure 
has ever been passed upon him by any historian or 
military man of note in this country. From these 
concessions, the reader will perceive that I have no 
disposition to palliate the faults of my countrymen 
or to cover up a reproach which I cannot wipe 


away. Do them, justice and we are satisfied; but, 
fortunately, in this case, there is no need either to 
ask any favor or to cast any reflection on Gen. 
Greene in order to find an apology for their conduct 
on that occasion If the reader will now forget 
what he has read, or the impression made on his 
mind by what he has read in Johnson's Life of 
Greene and in other writers who copied from him, we 
will take the position and take it confidently, that 
the North Carolina militia did as much, in propor- 
tion to their numbers and making a fair allowance 
for all the circumstances, as any other militia on 
the ground. I verily believe they did more, but 
let that pass for the present. To maintain the posi- 
tion which we have taken, we appeal to well known 
or well authenticated facts and to official documents, 
and we ask the reader's patient and candid attention. 
"When at the house of Mr. Eife, in Virginia, who, 
the reader will recollect ,was one of Lee's cavalry on 
that day and a man of respectable standing in soci- 
ety. I remarked that, according to history, the 
North Carolina militia did nothing on that occasion, 
and he replied, with some sternness, " Whoever says 
the North Carolina militia did nothing on that day, 
says what is false ; for I know better." When he 
told me about the North Carolinians, at one point, 
clubbing their guns and beating back the Hessians 
from the fence, I suggested that they must have 
been Campbell's Riflemen ; but he promptly said, 
" No, they were not !" for he knew the North Caro- 
lina militia well enough, and he sat on his horse 
where he had them full in view, or, to use his own 


words, where lie saw them with his own eyes. Ac- 
cording to the British accounts, the front line did 
not generally give way until the bayonets were 
presented, and they were not expected to stand the 
bayonet. Stedman says : "At the distance of one 
hundred and forty yards they received the enemy's 
first fire, but continued to advance unmoved. 
When arrived at a nearer and more convenient 
distance they delivered their own fire and rapidly 
charged with the bayonets." 

Tarleton, who seldom gives anybody, except the 
British, much credit for bravery, says, "the order 
and coolness of that part of Webster's brigade which 
advanced across the open ground, exposed to the 
enemy's fire cannot be sufficiently extolled. The 
extremities were not less galled, but were more pro- 
tected by the woods in which they moved. The 
militia allowed the front line to approach within 
one hundred and fifty yards before they gave their 
fire, the front line continued to move on, the Ameri- 
cans sent back their cannon, and part of them re- 
peated their fire. The king's troops threw in their 
fire and charged rapidly with their bayonets, the 
shock was not waited for by the militia, who re- 
treated behind their second line." There is no inti- 
mation here that " many of them" threw away their 
arms, without discharging them, and run for life, 
but that the line, generally at least, gave one fire and 
many of them fired a second time, which was ac- 
cording to orders. That their first fire, especially 
by the riflemen, was a deliberate and effective one, 
has been admitted by British officers and historians, 


Capt. Dugald Stuart, who commanded a company 
in the 71st regiment, on that day, when writing to 
a relative in this country, under date of October 
25th, 1825, uses the following language: "In the 
advance we received a very deadly fire, from the 
Irish line of the American army, composed of their 
marksmen lying on the ground behind a rail fence. 
One half of the Highlanders dropped on that 
spot, there ought to be a pretty large tumulus 
where our men were buried." Brown in his history 
of the Highland Clans, when speaking of the 71st 
regiment at Guilford, says.* "The Americans covered 
by the fence in their front reserved their fire till the 
British were within thirty or forty paces, at ivhich dis- 
tance they opened a most destructive fire, which annihi- 
lated nearly one third of Webster's brigade* William 
Montgomery, of this county, who was one of Capt. 
Forbis' little company, and one of the four who 
stood by him to the last, when describing the scene, 
in after life, usually illustrated it by saying that, 
after they delivered their first fire, which was a 
deliberate one, with their rifles, the part of the 
British line, at which they aimed, looked like the 
scattering stalks in a wheatfield when the harvest- 
man has passed over it with his cradle. There is a 

* This quotation, with a few facts on a former page, is taken 
from an article in the Fayettville Observer, under date of 
November 29th, 1855. The article was written by a gentleman 
of the Bar in Fayettville, who, I believe, is a native Scotch- 
man, and thoroughly acquainted with the Scottish history, but 
has been for years a naturalized American, and has now a Caro= 
lina feeling, as strong and patriotic as any native of the state. 


tradition which says that there were two men, from 
the south side of Guilford or the upper side of Kan- 
dolph, who got permission two or three days before 
the battle, to visit their families on condition that 
they would rejoin the army at Martinville on the 
morning of the 15th, but for some reason they did 
not arrive until near the close. They passed over the 
ground where the British were when fired on by the 
front line, and they said, it appeared to them, that, 
at one place, they could have walked fifty yards 
on dead and wounded men, without ever touching 
the ground. 

In the Greensboro' Patriot, June 21st, 1842, is a 
communication, the statements in which the writer 
says may be relied on, as they are from an eye 
witness of very respectable character, and from 
which we give the following extract. 

" They next," after the encounter with Lee about 
New Garden Meeting House, " came in collision 
with the line of North Carolina militia, the left of 
which fought bravely and withstood them for a 
time, until a detachment of the enemy's cavalry 
debouched on their flank, cutting them to pieces 
and rendered the contest extremely bloody. Capt. 
Forbis of Guilford, fought most bravely, and was 
the principal sufferer — he was killed and nearly all 
his brave company, fighting infantry and horse far 
superior in numbers and discipline, though not in 

When collecting materials for the life of Caldwell, 
fifteen years ago, I conversed with several old men, 
one of whom I recollect was a Quaker, who told me 


that tliey were on the ground next day — being then 
about twenty or twentj^-one years of age — and saw 
the British burying their dead. They said that they 
buried a great many in the field where Mr. Hoskins 
now lives and not far from his house, perhaps a 
little to the west, where they dug two large pits and 
laid in the men one on the top of another. These 
traditional accounts correspond extremely well with 
the statements made by British officers and histo- 
rians, and we might now leave it to the judgment of 
the candid reader ; but, as we have stated all the 
circumstances, so far as we knew them, which were 
favorable, we should not do them justice if we were 
to pass over those which were unfavorable. 

The two brigades of Virginia militia amounted to 
one thousand six hundred and ninety -three, six 
hundred and thirty-three more than the North Caro- 
lina militia, and numbers usually give confidence. 
Lawson's brigade, according to history, were, most 
of them, raw militia, and had been drafted not long 
before. The brigade of Stephens were all volun- 
teers and most of them were men of character. 
Many of the men and some of the officers had been 
in battle before. Stephens had served in the north 
as brigadier-general, under "Washington, where he 
had been imseveral battles and was a veteran officer. 
A number of men, too, were selected and placed at 
some distance in the rear, with orders to shoot down 
every one who attempted to run. They did well, 
and we give them full credit for their bravery. 

The In orth Carolina brigades amounted only to 
one thousand and sixty, all of whom were raw 


militia, and, except a little "handful of volunteers, 
had been shortly before drafted for the occasion. 
Not an officer nor a man among them, so far as I 
have learned, had ever seen a battle or been brought 
under any discipline. Though the fact does not 
appear in history, it is well known that, in the 
morning when the preparatory arrangements were 
making, the colonel commanding one of the regi- 
ments in Butler's brigade was appointed to some 
other service and the command of his regiment 
was given to Arthur Forbis, a militia captain. 
He and his little company all belonged to the Ala- 
mance congregation, in which he was a ruling elder 
of the church, and was highly esteemed as a man 
and a christian. Some years ago, his daughter, who 
well recollected the time and had often heard her 
mother and neighbors talking about it for long years 
after, told me that, two or three days before the 
battle, her father called his company together and 
after making known his intentions, gave them their 
their choice either to stay or go with him. About 
half made excuses. The other half, about twenty- 
five, volunteered to go. Be was as brave a man as 
walked the ground ; but he had not been tried. No 
one in the regiment, except his own company knew 
whether he had more firmness or a better judgment 
than any other militia captain ; and it was not to be 
expected that the whole regiment would have the 
same confidence in him that they would have had 
in the proper officer, or that they would pay the 
same deference to his authority ; for we all know 
that when the regular officer is killed or removed 


in battle, it has a discouraging influence even upon 
veteran soldiers. 

Ramsay, in his History of the Revolution, says, 
"It," meaning the North Carolina line, "gave way 
while the adversaries were at the distance of one 
hundred and forty yards, and he lays the blame of 
it on the misconduct of a Colonel, who, on the 
advance of the enemy, called out to an officer at 
some distance, 'that he would be surrounded,' 
which, according to him, caused a panic among the 
men, and they all fled. There was, perhaps, some 
truth in this statement, for the British were making 
every exertion to surround or out-flank them. The 
announcement of the fact which might have been 
the cause of their retreat, was calculated to excite a 
panic, and the imprudence of the Colonel, which 
was owing to his inexperience, consisted in his 
manner of making it known ; but that the line as a 
whole, or generally, gave way when the enemy 
were at the distance of hundred and forty yards, is 
at variance with the British authorities, as we have 
shown, and with all the testimony I have had from 
men who were in Butler's brigade on that day. It 
is certain that the company of Captain Forbis, with 
many others, fired twice, and that he and some of 
his men did not give way until the British were 
within a few steps. He and two of his neighbors 
were then wounded, Thomas Wiley and William 
Paisley, father of the Rev. Samuel Paisley, who is 
yet living. Nathaniel Slade of Caswell, told me 
that he fired once, and commenced loading to fire 
again, when he broke his ramrod. He then bor- 


rowed one from the man on his right hand, and was 
ramming down his bullet, but had not got ready to 
fire, when the men all broke and fled. On looking 
forward, the British were within a few rods. Had 
it not been for the accident of breaking his ramrod, 
which was a loss of some minutes, he would have 
fired twice ; and he said many of the men on both 
sides of him did give two fires ; but we call atten- 
tion to the fact that, according to his testimony, the 
line did not generally give way until the enemy 
were within a few rods. Captain Forbis said before 
he died, that if all the men under his command, 
meaning the regiment, I suppose, had shown as 
much firmness as William Montgomery, John Law, 
John Allison, and William Paisley, he would have 
kept that part of the British line back in spite of 

But the relative proportion of the killed and 
wounded ought not to be overlooked, and as the 
basis of a comparative estimate, we take the official 
return of the adjutant-general, Colonel Williams. 
The return, as a whole, was very imperfect ; for it 
was impossible to ascertain in that length of time, 
the second day after the battle, when the return was 
made, the precise number of killed and wounded, 
especially in the ranks of the militia. Besides, he 
made out his statement from the reports of the 
general and field officers, who returned to the Iron 
Works; but all the field officers had not then re- 
turned to that place. Moreover, there was one 
regiment, a whole regiment of North Carolina 
militia, of which these officers had made no report, 


and it would be strange, if not one man in it was 
killed or wounded. 

The return, as a whole, was, therefore, imperfect, 
and, owing to their peculiar circumstances, was es- 
pecially deficient in regard to the Worth Carolina 
militia, but we shall have more to say about that be- 
fore we are done, and for the present take the return 
of Williams as the basis of comparison. Of the 
whole Virginia militia, one thousand six hundred 
and ninety-three, only twelve were reported as 
killed ; and if you divide one thousand six hundred 
and ninety -three by twelve, it will give you one in 
one hundred and forty-one and a half. Of the whole 
North Carolina militia, one thousand and sixt}^ six 
were reported as killed ; and if you divide one thou- 
sand and sixty by six, it will give one in one hun- 
dred and seventy-six and two-thirds. This is not 
such a great disparity, yet it is unfavorable, and 
we must look for other facts ; but there was one 
whole regiment of North Carolina militia, of which 
the Field officers had then made no report! and what 
of that ? Did they never make a report ? or, if they 
did not, does it follow that there was nothing good 
to report of them? Had they disappeared like 
ghosts at the dawn of day ? Or were they like the 
man's flea, when they went to look for them, they 
"warn't there?" Johnson and those who have 
copied after him seem to have taken this for granted ; 
but was that the fact? It does not follow; and Wil- 
liams gives no such intimation. Pie merely says 
that the field officers had then made no report of 
it ; and if that was the regiment which was left to the 


command of Captain Forbis, of which there can be 
very little doubt, the mystery is explained and the 
question settled. I do not assert that the regiment 
of which no report had then been received was the 
one commanded by Forbis, but state facts and leave 
the reader to draw his own conclusions. Certainly 
the most natural inference is, that it was not reported 
because it had no field officer to make a report, and 
that was probably the case with no other regiment 
on the ground. 

That the command of the regiment in question 
was, on that morning, given to Captain Forbis, by 
Gen. Green's order or sanction is well known, and 
does not admit of a doubt ; but there were more of 
our militia killed and wounded than the field officers 
reported or could have known at the time. We will 
take a few cases which have accidentally come to 
my knowledge, and let the reader judge. 

There was a man killed by the name of Pinkerton, 
who, I think, was a volunteer, and from what was 
then Orange county. He was under Forbis' imme- 
diate command, and was killed by the last cannon- 
ball, supposed to be a six pounder, thrown from the 
British artillery while occupying its first position 
on the high ground to the west. Butler's brigade 
commenced at the road in which the American ar- 
tillery was planted, and extended south, along the 
fence, and beyond it as far as necessary. Pinkerton 
was in a corner of the fence, only a few steps from 
the road, with his gun pointing through a crack, and 
waiting until the British, who were then a little 
below Hoskins' house, would come within rifle shot. 


The ball struck him in the head, and as he was pro- 
bably resting on one knee to keep himself more 
steady, which made his posture coincide with the 
parabolic curve of the descending ball, it tore out 
the spine the whole length of the body, leaving the 
mere fragments of what, only a moment before had 
been a man, and one who, in common phrase, " had 
a soul." The fragments lay there among the leaves 
and bushes for two days, and his death was probably 
not known to any field officer on the ground. 

On the afternoon of the second day after the 
British had all left, a great many came in from the 
surrounding country ; some to gratify their curiosity 
in looking over the ground, and others in search 
of friends, whose fate was yet unknown. Two 
women who were going about looking for friends, 
first discovered the mangled body of Pinkerton, 
and called the attention of the men, who came and 
buried his remains. That he was overlooked for 
two days is not strange, when Capt. Forbis, who 
was only wounded, was overlooked for the same 
length of time. 

Mr. Slacle told me that when he was retreating 
through the woods, he passed a man who was so 
desperately wounded that he thought he could not 
possibly live to the close of the battle. At the same 
instant a certain Major came along on horseback, 
and the wounded man begged that he would just 
let him ride his horse till he got beyond the reach 
of the guns ; but the Major, who was making very 
good use of his locomotive powers, never turned 
his head in that direction. I have asked two or 


three physicians with whom I happened to get in 
conversation on this subject, about the case, and 
they said that the wound was not necessarily 
mortal, but that, as some considerable arteries were 
cut, he must very soon bleed to death without 
surgical aid, which was then and there out of the 
question. As he never heard of the man again, 
Slade had no doubt that he had crawled off into 
the woods, where he lay down and bled to death 
without any one knowing what had become of him, 
and yet, if reported at all, it could be only as 
wounded or missing. was a young man killed by the name of 
Toliafero, who was from Surry county, and came 
down as a volunteer with Jesse Franklin, late 
Governor of the State. In what part of the army 
they were engaged, I have not learned, but from 
circumstances I infer that they were on the left, 
either with Butler's brigade, or with Campbell's 
riflemen. They rode down, but tied their horses in 
the woods at some distance from the scene of 
conflict. At the close, when Tarleton was sent 
with his dragoons to extricate the Hessians, as Lee 
had left with his cavalry, he soon scattered them, 
killing some, and wounding others. When all 
were flying for safety, these two young men ran 
towards their horses, and were pursued by some 
dragoons. Franklin by cutting his bridle, barely 
made his escape ; but Toliafero, who undertook to 
untie his bridle, was cut down by the sword of a 
dragoon when in the act of mounting. Franklin, 
afterwards, when the British had left the neighbor- 


hood, returned to the place, buried his friend, and 
carried back his armor to his family. In that 
merciless onslaught of the dragoons, several must 
have been killed, and more wounded, as Tarleton 
intimates in his history ; but scattered, as they 
were, through the woods in every direction, Vir- 
ginians and North Carolinians together, they could 
not possibly be all found and reported at the Iron 
Works by the second day after the battle. 

If the reader chooses to add Pinkerton, Toliafero 
and the other man, or only two of them, to the num- 
ber reported as killed, and then divide as before, he 
will be a little surprised to find what a difference it 
willmake in the relative proportion. It was im- 
possible that Williams or any body else could then 
know what execution was done by the front line, or 
how much it suffered in the action ; for we know 
that several were wounded and probably some killed 
after the field officers had all left. They retreated, 
every one of them, with the mass, some of them 
leading the way, and left portions of their men still 
engaged with the enemy. Captain Forbis was 
wounded and two of his neighbors, Thomas Wi- 
ley and William Paisley, after the field officers had 
all left and were beyond the reach of danger. For- 
bis was mortally wounded and lay there till the 
afternoon of the second day, forty-eight hours, when 
he was found by some of his neighbors and taken 
home. There may have been others, but these have 
incidentally come to my knowledge from having 
lived a good part of my life among their descend- 


ants, many of whom have been, ever since, most 
valuable members of the Alamance church. 

The men under the immediate command of For- 
bis were probably the most firm and efficient part of 
the line, and, if we are right in supposing that the 
regiment of which Williams had received no report 
was the one which was left under his command, it 
will give a different aspect to the whole affair. It 
will explain the difficulties in the official return of 
Williams ; it will confirm the statements of the 
British historians and of Capt. Stuart, all of whom 
were actors in the scene, and it will accord with the 
testimony of substantial and reliable men of this 
region, who were in the battle. 

We give here another fact or another testimony 
respecting the efficiency of the first line, which 
deserves at least some consideration. On the morn- 
ing of the battle the British left a portion of their 
baggage and a number of prisoners, under a small 
guard, at or near New Garden meeting house. 
Among the prisoners were Christian Hoffman and 
William dimming, who died a few years ago in 
Greensboro'. Mr. Gumming told me, a few years 
before his death, that when the front line delivered 
their first fire it made such an impression on the 
British that an express came from Cornwallis order- 
ing the guard to retreat with the baggage to a 
specified place, and that they had actually com- 
menced the retreat when another express came with 
an order to remain for the Americans were giving 
way. John Clapp, who is one of our most estima- 
ble and now one of our oldest citizens, told me, 


some ten or twelve years ago, that, in the early part 
of his life, he was well acquainted with Christian 
Hoffman and had often heard him make precisely 
the same statement. 

In making out the estimate it should be borne in 
mind that the Yirginia militia were far from home, 
"strangers in a strange land," and that all their 
wounded who could get off the ground would be 
obliged to stay with the main body; but with the 
North Carolina militia it was just the reverse, espe- 
cially with Butler's brigade ; for the battle-field 
being within the limits of his military district, all 
the wounded who could get away, either by their 
own strength or by the help of friends, would push 
for home, which, it is well known, they did. 

Of Lawson's entire brigade, probably about eight 
hundred, only one man was killed, and he belonged to 
the rank and file. If any part of the North Carolina 
militia suffered less than that we would like to 
know it ; and yet, it is only between that brigade, 
which, according to history, were raw militia, re- 
cently drafted, and the two brigades of North Caro- 
lina, all of whom, except a handful of volunteers, 
had been drafted only a few days before, that a 
comparison of this kind can have any fairness. With 
these facts before them, it is strange, " 'tis passing 
strange," that men who profess to be impartial his- 
torians, should bestow almost unmeasured praise 
on the one, and only censure and opprobrium on 
the other ; but some allowance ought to be made, 
perhaps, for they were guided by the reports of the 
field officers. I am not making a comparison 


between the North Carolina and Virginia militia ; 
for it has been already made in all the histories of 
the country, and I am only showing its unfairness. 
In a regular army only those are put in office 
whose courage and capacity have been well tried ; 
but in the militia it is very different. There men 
are chosen for their popularity, or their social 
position ; and, of course, some will be found in the 
hour of trial to be good metal, and others will prove 
to be utterly worthless. Such has always been the 
case with raw militia taken at random, and drafted 
on the spur of the occasion. When men of princi- 
ple, character and property, turn out in defence of 
their rights or their country, they will stand their 
ground, and often as well as veteran troops ; but in 
drafted militia, there will always be many who have 
neither property, principle nor character to lose, 
which should be borne in mind and duly considered 
in the present case. In all the militia, from Virginia 
and North Carolina, I believe that there were some 
good officeis, and some who were worse than none. 
Ah, but " most of them threw away their guns, with- 
out discharging them!" Did they? No doubt 
some of them did that very thing ; and who will say 
that none of the Virginia militia were liable to the 
same charge?* According to the testimony of 

* On the approach of the enemy at Gates' defeat, as Kam- 
sey tells us, the Virginia militia, who composed the left wing, 
threw down their arms, and fled with great precipitation. A 
part of the North Carolina militia followed the unworthy 
example ; but the remainder, under Gen. Gregory, showed the 
firmness of veterans, and kept the field while they had a cart- 


reliable men who were in the battle, as I had it 
years ago, Lawson's brigade yielded as soon on the 
approach of the British and fled in about as much 
confusion as any others. The worthless portion of 
militia may have thrown away their arms as soon as 
the enemy came within striking distance, and some 
others, especially such as felt nnable to keep up 
with the rest on the retreat, may have dropped theirs 
by the way, from necessity, as Gen. Greene left his 
artillery because he could not get away and take it 
with him ; but that most of them, or even a large 
portion of them thus threw away their arms is out 
of the question. Col. McLeod, who made the official 
return of the British army, reported that they " got 
one thousand three hundred stands of arms which had 
been distributed to the militia, and destroyed on the 
field." Destroyed? how? when? by whom? If these 
guns all belonged to the militia, and were destroyed 
by the British after the battle, many of them must 
have belonged to other militia than those of North 
Carolina ; for one thousand three hundred was two 
hundred and forty more than all the militia from this 
State, and we know that a large portion of them kept 
their guns. At that time, when game was plenty, 
every man who was of any account, would have a 
rifle if he had to go in debt for it ; and his rifle was 
about the last thing he would think of throwing away. 

ridge to fire. After the battle eighty-two wounded men of the 
North Carolina militia were carried into Cambden, and only 
two of the Virginia militia. The North Carolina continentals 
were the firmest troops in the field, and the whole of her 
militia would probably have stood their ground had it not 
been for the example of their neighbors. 


The greater part of Butler's brigade, I imagine, 
had rifles— Si mms, in his life of Greene, when 
speaking of the front line in the Guilford battle, 
says, they were nearly all armed with rifles — and 
they must have been desperately frightened or hard 
pressed by the enemy before they would throw them 
away. The men from Alamance all took theirs 
home and used them many a long day afterwards. 
Besides, nearly half of the whole line returned to 
the Iron Works and were eager next day for an op- 
portunity to retrieve their character; but they would 
be ashamed to appear at head-quarters if they had 
thrown away their guns. When I came into this 
county, the battle was still a common topic of con- 
versation among the old men ; but I never heard 
any of them, whether he had been in the battle or 
not, mention the first man who^was even reported 
to have thrown away his gun. 

Of Eaton's brigade I have learned nothing definite 
or satisfactory; but from the brief statements of 
Tarleton and Stedman, I would infer that the whole 
line, generally, at least delivered one fire and a por- 
tion of it fired a second time. This is in accordance 
with the general traditions of the neighborhood, 
when I came into it, and is probably not far from 
the truth. 

When they came to their rendezvous at the Iron 
Works, next day, a great many, both officers and 
men, were reported as missing. Of the Virginia 
militia, one field officer, a major, was missing, but 
none from the North Carolina militia ; and this fact 
I regard as confirmatory of my assumption that the 


regiment of which. Williams received no report, was 
the one placed under the command of Forbis. That 
the command was given him is of course not men- 
tioned in history ; for general history cannot take 
notice of such minute arrangements; but it is a well 
known fact and, in consequence of it, the honorary 
title of colonel has been ever since given him by 
his countrymen. The colonel who was on that 
morning, appointed to a special service, was so 
appointed only for the day and returned with the 
army to head-quarters that night or next morning ; 
but not having been in the battle, he could make 
no report ; and Forbes being only a captain, had no 
right to report, or if it had been required of him, 
he was so desperately wounded that it was out of 
his power. 

In the official return of Williams* it was stated 

* Williams' return of Militia killed, wounded, and missing 
in the action at Guilford court-house, in North Carolina, the 
15th of March, 1781. — Copied from Tarleton. 

First brigade Virginia militia, commanded by Brigadier 
General Stephens. Killed, two captains, nine rank and file. 
Wounded, one captain, four subalterns, thirty rank and file. 
Missing, one major, one captain, three subalterns, three ser- 
geants, one hundred and thirty-three rank and file. 

Second brigade, Virginia militia, commanded by Brigadier- 
General Lawson. Killed, one rank and file. "Wounded, one 
major, two subalterns, thirteen rank and file. Missing, one 
subaltern, three sergeants, eighty-three rank and file. 

Rifle regiment, commanded by Colonels Campbell and Lynch. 
Killed, two captains, one rank and file. Wounded, one cap- 
tain, one subaltern, one serjeant, thirteen rank and file. 
Missing, one captain, seven subalterns, eight Serjeants, 
seventy-eight rank and file. 


that five hundred and sixty-one were missing, 
eleven officers all below the rank of field officers, 
and five hundred and fifty-two rank and file. This 
was a little more than half of the whole ; but some 
deductions must be made. The Virginia militia being 
far from home, were under a necessity of keeping 
together, but those from this state, being, a large 
portion of them at least, within reach of home, were 

Total, eight captains, eighteen subalterns, fifteen Serjeants, 
three hundred and sixty-one rank and file. 

Brigadier-General Stephens, wounded through the thigh. 
Many of those missing are expected to return, or to be fouud 
at their homes. 

Deputy Adjutant-General. 

Return of the North Carolina militia, killed, wounded and 
missing in the action at Guilford court-house, in North Caro- 
lina the 15th of March, 1781. 

Two brigades, commanded by Brigadier-Generals Butler 
and Eaton. Killed, six rank and file. Wounded, one captain, 
one subaltern, three rank and file. Missing, two captains, 
nine subalterns, five hundred and fifty-two rank and file. 

Total, three captains, ten subalterns, five hundred and sixty- 
one rank and file. 

The North Carolina cavalry, commanded by the Marquis 
of Bretegny, lost one man killed, and one wounded. 

I have received no return of one of the North Carolina 
regiments. Those missing are supposed to have gone home. 
According to the reports of the general and field officers, very 
few were killed and taken, most of them having thrown away 
their arms and abandoned the field early in the action. 
Deputy Adjutant-General. 

Published by order of Congress, 

Charles Thomson, Sec. 


under a strong temptation to return thither, and 
many of them would, no doubt, appear at head- 
quarters after the official return was made out. 
Then there were more killed and wounded than 
were known to him or any other officer in camp ; 
and finally the volunteers did not intend and felt 
themselves under no obligations to return. Forbis 
and his men volunteered for the occasion and in- 
tended to stay no longer than the battle. As they 
went to head-quarters and put themselves under the 
command of Gen. Greene, they would be included 
in the whole number with which he went into the 
battle ; but they ought not to be reported among 
the missing. So with most of the others, and this 
should be remembered. 

From all I have learned, I am satisfied that, not 
only the unsoldierly conduct chargeable on a por- 
tion of the militia, but the statement in that official 
return of Col. Williams, which has been the cause 
of so much vituperation, was owing to two or three 
officers who needed some apology for their conduct. 
It was a hard matter to make the world believe that 
independence was first declared in North Carolina, 
more than a year before it was declared by the 
Continental Congress; and many may be slow to 
believe all I have stated respecting the conduct of 
our militia in this battle, because Johnson, on the 
authority of a very imperfect report, has said that 
they threw away their arms and fled; but justice, 
though it may be slow paced will get here sometime. 
I have not been trying to make out a case, but to 


do justice, and whether I have succeeded or not 
the reader must judge. 

There were a number of little incidents connected 
with the battle, some of which may, perhaps, be 
interesting, at least to the juvenile portion of my 

A very respectable old gentleman, by the name 
of Peter Rife, with whom I became acquainted, a 
number of years ago, at the Springs in Virginia, told 
me that, when Col. Lee was informed of the British 
guard at Mendenhall's mill, he resolved to take it 
by surprise, if he could ; and, for this purpose, he 
sent some of his men the evening before to recon- 
noitre. On a fine eminence, about a mile from the 
mill, there were two large hickory trees, which are 
yet standing; and two, of his men, by ascending 
those trees and keeping the body of the tree between 
them and the mill, got a fine view of the premises, 
of the position occupied by the picket, and the way 
of access. On the morning of the 15th Lee was there 
with his cavalry by day-break ; but the men were 
all gone. He questioned Mrs. Mendenhall very 
closely ; but all she could tell him was, that about 
eleven or twelve o'clock in the night she heard a 
bugle, apparently at a great distance, but coming 
very rapidly, still waxing louder and louder as it 
approached; and in five minutes after it arrived, 
they were all gone. Until now it was uncertain 
when the battle would take place, but this satisfied 
Lee that the British would be on their way to Mar- 
tinville at an early hour and he returned to New 


On arriving at the meeting-house, they turned or 
continued up the road, but had not gone over a 
mile until they met the British dragoons in a lane. 
It was well understood that Col. Lee would always 
have the best horse the country afforded, and on 
this occasion, his horse, a fine chesnut-sorrel, high- 
spirited, like his master, and of superior qualities 
for that business, was so good that he lost him. 
The sun was about an hour high, and shining with 
unclouded splendor. They were going west, with 
their backs to the sun, while the British were meet- 
ing them and facing the east. When the slanting 
rays fell upon the British armor, which was all 
burnished very bright, such a flash of light was 
thrown back on the American horses, as they ap- 
proached, that it frightened them and caused a 
momentary disorder. Lee's horse threw his rider 
and got away from him, but one of his men instantly 
alighted, and putting the Colonel on his horse, 
undertook to shift for himself in the best way he 
could, which he did by falling in with the legion or 
Campbell's riflemen. The horse ran to a stable 
about a mile from the place, and unceremoniously 
took possession. Next morning, which was the 
morning after the battle, a man in the neighbor- 
hood, who had no standing in society, and no settled 
principles, but would do anything to catch a penny, 
or ingratiate himself with those in power, having 
learned where the horse was, went to the stable and 
got him, took him to the British camp at Martin- 
ville, and sold him to Tarleton for a guinea or two, 
just enough to pay him for his trouble. The first 


part of this account I had from Mr. Eife. The 
other, about selling the horse, from an old Quaker, 
man j years ago. 

The statements of Mr. Eife, respecting the opera- 
tions in the morning, agreed very well with the 
accounts which we have in history. He said they 
had three skirmishes, or, as he termed it, three 
"bouts" with them before they got to the court- 
house, and that Lee lost seventeen of his men in 
these encounters. When they arrived at the scene 
of action, cool as the morning was, their horses were 
all in a foam of sweat, and were nearly broke down ; 
but Col. Lee rode along the front line from one end 
to the other, exhorting them to stand firm, and not 
be afraid of the British ; for he swore that he had 
whipped them three times that morning, and could 
do it again. From the part which Col. Lee per- 
formed, some one made a song, which was, for some 
time, sung over the country, beginning, 

On the fifteenth of March, in the year eighty-one, 
When the brave Col. Lee brought the whole battle on. 

In his Life of Greene, Johnson reflects on Col. 
Lee for not duly obeying orders, and for some 
movements which he supposes were not conducive 
to the main object, intimating that he failed in his 
duty by prematurely drawing off his legion and 
cavalry from the protection of Campbell's riflemen, 
and thus leaving them exposed to the British 
dragoons ; then by taking his position so far to the 
left of the Continentals that he could be of no ser- 
vice ; nor did Gen. Greene know where he was ; 


and by taking a different route to the Iron Works, 
so that he could give no assistance in covering the 
retreat, and left the commander in doubt with 
respect to his fate. As I am not writing a regular 
history, I shall not enter into an investigation of this 
matter, but leave the reader to judge for himself. 

Johnson may have been at least partially correct 
in regard to the facts, but if they had all been true, 
he has not dealt altogether fairly by Colonel Lee ; 
for he had done so much hard fighting in the morn- 
ing, and had undergone so much fatigue, that very 
little more ought to have been expected of him. 
Mr. Eife said that, directly after the firing with the 
small arms commenced, an Aid came from General 
Greene with an order, that for reasons which 
need not be here given, Colonel Lee should take 
command of the left wing, and Lee promptly 
replied, " Tell General Greene that I cannot and 
will not ; for both my men and my horses are run 
down." Rife said he was sitting on his horse, where 
he distinctly heard both the order and the reply. 
He had rode that morning, some twenty-five or 
thirty miles, before the action at the court-house 
commenced, and was often on a hard strain, over 
extremely bad roads. He had been engaged in 
three conflicts, and had lost a number of his men. 
Tarleton and his dragoons were not required to do 
anything during the engagement, except at the 
close, to extricate Leslie from the riflemen in the 
woods, which was a small matter; but Colonel 
Lee, whose fatigue had been much greater, certainly 
had better reasons for exemption. Eife further 


stated, that some time after the above order, lie 
could not tell how long, another messenger came 
with a different order, which he could not hear; 
but Lee was preparing to comply with it, when the 
retreat commenced. It seems, then, that General 
Greene was not altogether ignorant of Lee's where- 
abouts nntil they arrived at the place of rendez- 
vous ; but, in accounts of battles, such little mis- 
takes and discrepancies are common. 

For two or three days before the battle, Thomas 
Donnell, who lived on the north side of Eeedy 
Fork, and about a mile above what is now Foulke's 
mill, had been riding over the country with Col. 
Washington, as a guide ; and about nine o'clock on 
the morning of the battle, they came into the New 
Garden road, a short distance above the place 
where the front line was drawn np. Donnell then 
told the Colonel, that as he had now got beyond his 
range, and could be of no further service, he might 
as well let him go ; but Washington told him that 
he had a better idea of the ground than he had, 
and he could not consent; his object being to ride 
over the ground before the action commenced. At 
that moment they saw a man coming out from a 
house two or three hundred yards above, and ad- 
vancing very rapidly towards them. Donnell then 
observed, that as the man lived there, he knew all 
about the ground, and he had better press him into 
the service. The man had just commenced his 
flight from the coming storm, and when he came 
within a few rods of them, he took a left hand 
country road running north; but Washington 


hailed him and made him stop. On his coming 
up, Washington told him that he wished to become 
acquainted with the gronnd round about there, and 
must detain him for a guide. The fugitive refused, 
and said impatiently, he could not stay ; but Wash- 
ington was positive, and he had to submit. Pre- 
tending to make a virtue of necessity, he said he 
would not object if he had a better horse, but was 
unwilling, as the enemy were approaching, to re- 
main on the one he was riding, which was indeed 
a poor concern. 

Washington then told Donnell he must exchange 
horses with him, but he demurred most strenuously, 
and said he could not let his horse go, which was 
really a first-rate animal. The Colonel, however, 
told him it was a case of necessity, and he must 
submit. The exchange was then made, very reluc- 
tantly on one side, and very gladly on the other; 
but no sooner was the trifling scamp on the back of 
Donnell's horse, than he laid whip, dashed off at full 
speed, and they saw no more of him. Donnell said 
he hardly ever saw a man more excited than 
Washington was for a few minutes, but it was of 
no avail, and he recovered his equanimity. The 
man never returned, or, if he did, it was only for a 
short time, and it was not generally known. Thus, 
by a little sharp-witted rascality, Washington had 
to do without a guide, and Donnell lost his favorite 

As Donnell was wending his way home on his 
newly-acquired Eosenante, about half a mile below 
Martinville, on the High Eock road, he met three 


of his neighbors, John Larkin, John Allison and 
David Cummins, who were footing it along with 
their rifles, and on their way to the "shooting- 
match." Larkin was a native Hibernian, and had 
been brought over to this country by Donnell's 
father, who paid his passage, and Larkin was to 
repay him in work, which he did very honorably, 
and then worked until he earned enough to buy a 
farm, on which he was now living quite comforta- 
bly, with a wife and two or three children. When 
thus met, he was carrying his gun on his left 
shoulder and holding in his right hand a spit with 
a piece of meat sticking on the end of it. Using 
the freedom to which he was entitled, Donnell said 
to him, " Why, John, you had better throw away 
that meat, you will have something else to do pre- 
sently." "No, fa'th," said Johnny, "I may have 
need of it yet ;" and then, turning on his heel and 
tossing up his head, they all marched off together 
with a brisk and cheerful step towards the scene of 
action. On entering the old field beyond the 
court-house, though ignorant of the arrangements, 
and not knowing one officer from another, he went 
to Capt. Kirkwood, the American Diomede, and 
asked him if he might fall in with his company. 
u To be sure, sir," was the curt, but cordial reply. 
He asked again, if he might take a tree, as there was 
a small one standing just before him, and received 
the same answer, "To be sure, sir." Kirkwood said 
afterwards, that he expected to see him run as soon 
as the British came in sight, but was very agreeably 
disappointed. The orders were, not to fire until 


the enemy came within sixty steps ; and Larkin 
stood there very patiently, holding the spit in his 
right hand, and with the other resting his gun on 
the ground until he thought they were about that 
distance from him, when he asked the captain if he 
might fire now, and received an affirmative answer. 
Then sticking the butt end of his spit in the ground 
beside him, with the meat still on it, and laying his 
rifle up against the tree, he took steady aim and 
laid out his man. Kirk wood said he stood within 
a few feet of him watching him closely all the time, 
and when the gun cracked he saw a red coat fall 
and roll down the hill. He stood his ground as 
well as any of them until the retreat, when he 
marched with them through Martinville, and until 
he came to his road, when he returned home. 

In Butler's Brigade was a young man by the 
name of Bill Sartain, who had seen very little of the 
world and knew nothing of war. He had very little 
idea of a battle ; but was rather pleased than other- 
wise with the prospect of having it to say afterwards 
that he had been in one. So, he rigged himself out 
as well as he could, all in homespun, and among 
other articles, he got a new hat, of which he was 
very proud. In the action he stood his ground with 
commendable firmness, and gave one fire. He then 
commenced preparation for another ; but before he 
got ready, a musket-ball from the enemy grazed his 
forehead which stunned him so that he fell to the 
ground where he lay for a moment or two senseless, 
and his new hat lay beside him altogether uncon- 
scious of what had befallen its master. On recover- 


ing from his transient insensibility, the British were 
so close that there was no chance for him to escape, 
the brigade were all gone, and he lay there flat on 
the ground, pretending to be dead, in which he acted 
his part so well that the enemy did not think worth 
while even to give him a push with the bayonet, but 
in their eagerness to go at the Virginia line, rushed 
over him, trampling over him and his hat without 
any ceremony or remorse of conscience. When 
they engaged with the Virginians, he got up and, by 
making a considerable circuit, got back to the court- 
house, where many from all the militia brigades had 
assembled, and were remaining as spectators of the 
conflict about to take place with the regulars in the 
old field. On meeting with his comrades, and giving 
them an account of his misfortunes — how he had 
been knocked down by a musket-ball, and how the 
rascally Britishers had rushed over him without any 
regard to his feelings ; but he said, with perfect sin- 
cerity and deep concern, he wouldn't mind it so much 
if they hadn't tramj^t on his new hat. 

"William Paisley, father of the Eev. Samuel Pais- 
ley, who is yet living, was one of Captain Forbis' 
neighbors, and one of his firmest men. He was one 
of the last to leave the ground; and, when about to 
retreat, on looking under the smoke, the British 
were so near that there seemed to be no chance of 
escape ; and dropping on the ground, he lay with 
his face in the leaves as if he were dead. Supposing 
that he was dead, they rushed by without noticing 
him, and engaged with the Virginians. As soon as 
they had done so he got up, and on looking round, 


he saw a British soldier who was a very large man, 
and so much afraid of the rifles that he was keeping 
a tree between him and danger, peeping first by one 
side and then by the other. He said he thought he 
would give the cowardly dog one pop at all events, 
and, levelling his rifle, he laid him on the ground at 
the root of the tree. 

But the British, notwithstanding their boasted 
valor could play possum as well as any of our militia, 
when it became necessary. Johnson tells us that, 
" in the route of the British guards, the Americans 
made a number of prisoners, and might have taken 
more, if they had been able to distinguish those who 
were really dead from those who pretended to be 
so." There was a Captain Lovett, of the guards, 
from whose fob a Maryland soldier found leisure 
on the field of battle to take a handsome watch. 
Washington purchased the watch from the soldier ; 
and Lovett not being returned as killed or wounded, 
the conclusion was obvious. It afforded mirth to 
the American army, but is said to have compelled 
him to retire from the service. Even a brave man 
may sometimes find " discretion the better part of 
valor;" and it ought not to be deemed an unpardon- 
able offence if, in some instances, he would rather 
" live to fight another day." 

On the south side of the battle ground, there lived 
a man by the name of Thomas White, a very clever 
and respectable Quaker, whose premises were trav- 
ersed by the right wing of the British army. His 
house, like most others then in the country, was a 
small log house, with a potato hole under the floor and 


directly in front of the fire-place, the access to which 
was by raising two or three planks which extended 
only across the two first sleepers and were left un- 
fastened for the purpose. When he found that his 
house would come within sweep of the contending 
armies, he got into the potato hole and his wife let 
down the planks again. Next morning one of the 
neighbors came over to learn how he had fared the 
day before, and not seeing him, asked his wife 
Betsy, where Thomas was. " Well," said she, " he 
is not far off," and raised two of the short plank, 
when, lo and behold, "broad brim" started up 
through the floor as large as life, safe and sound, to 
the great joy of his friend and all about. As he 
was a Quaker and conscientiously opposed to war, we 
do not blame him for thus screening himself from 
danger, but we cannot help thinking what a fine 
opportunity he had, during that day and night in 
the potato hole, secure, amid all the roar of cannon, 
the clash of arms and the fierce conflict of human 
passions, to meditate profoundly on the horrors of 
war, and the depravity of human nature. 

Stedman relates a case of presentiment in a 
British officer, which was only one out of many that 
occurred during the war and which we give in his 
own words. " We shall here relate an anecdote re- 
specting the late Capt. Maynard of the guards. 
He was naturally of a cheerful disposition and great 
hilarity, and in several actions, during the course 
of the war, had shown great gallantry ; but a cer- 
tain presentiment of his fate on the day of the action 
at Guilford possessed his mind, which presentiment 


was too fatally realized. While the troops were 
marching on to form the line of battle, he became 
gloomy, and gave way to despondency. Not less 
than two or three times did he tell Colonel Norton, 
who commanded the battalion, that he felt himself 
very uncomfortable, and did not like the business 
at all. Colonel, now the Honorable Major-Greneral 
Norton, endeavored to laugh him out of his melan- 
choly ideas, but in vain, for, even after the canonade 
began, he reiterated the forebodings of what he con- 
ceived was to happen. Early in the action he re- 
ceived a wound in the leg, unable to proceed, he 
requested Mr. Wilson, the adjutant of the Guards, 
to lend him his horse, that he might ride on with 
the battalion, and when in the act of mounting, 
another shot went through his lungs, and incapaci- 
tated him from proceeding. After being conveyed in 
a litter to Wilmington, and there lingering a few 
days, he died of his wounds, greatly regretted." 

The following incident I had from Mr Eife, who 
was an eye witness to what he related, and, like 
many others of a similar kind, it may serve to illus- 
trate the sufferings endured on such occasions, and 
also the sudden alternations of kindness and revenge, 
on the part of individuals when excited by objects 
of compassion, or by acts of apparent hostility. 
There were two Irishmen, one of whom belonged 
to the British and the other to the American army. 
Of course Mr. Eife did not know their names ; but, 
for the sake of convenience, we shall call the one 
belonging to the British O'Bryan, and the other 
Jimmison. O'Bryan had been badly wounded ; and, 


from the intensity of his pain, without thinking or 
caring where he went, he had strayed off so far from 
corps to which he belonged and towards the Court 
House, that he was near the road by which the 
Americans retreated. Being within a few steps and 
recognizing in Jimmison a countryman, he called to 
him, and begged for mercy's sake to give him a 
drink of water. He held in his hand a long round 
staff, resembling that on which the Ensign carries 
his flag, and had on the top of it a sharp iron, like 
that which we commonly see on the top of a flag 
staff. Jimmison happening to have some water in 
his canteen, stepped up very kindly and gave him a 
drink. "When he turned to go away, and before he 
had got any distance, O'Bryan, so frenzied with 
pain and thirst, as Rife supposed, that he did not 
know what he was doing, threw his staff, with all 
his remaining strength, at his benefactor, and the 
iron point struck him, but inflicted only a slight 
wound. Jimmison then turned back and drove his 
bayonet into O'Bryan's heart, which at once put an 
end to his life and his misery. Having done so, he 
turned towards Martinsville and overtook his com- 
pany just as they were entering the village. 

During the engagement, General Stephens had 
been wounded in the thigh by a musket ball, but 
did not entirely leave the field, or at least, when the 
retreat commenced, he was able to go along. He 
and General Greene rode together ; and when pass- 
ing through the village, as if forgetful of the ap- 
palling scenes which they were leaving, and although 
the blood was spouting from Stephens' thigh at 


every lope the horse made, the two Generals were 
talking and laughing as pleasantly as if they had 
just finished a game of Fives. This appeared strange 
to the women and children ivho saw them from 
their windows as they passed, from one of whom, 
then a little girl in her tenth year, I received the 
account, when a very old woman; but it showed 
the courage and self-command of a hero. What it 
was that so much interested them, is not known. 
They might have been pleased, to think what a 
thrashing they had given the British, or General 
Greene might have been relating the narrow escape 
which he had just made, or some other incidents 
which have neither been recorded nor remembered ; 
but such are the men to have the command of ar- 
mies, and to direct the storm of battle. This feel- 
ing of cheerfulness was, however, but momentary. 
The excitement of the contest soon subsided, or was 
driven away by the realities of his situation, which 
now began to press upon his mind, and with so 
much force, that nothing could have sustained him, 
but the consciousness that he was engaged in the 
cause of freedom and humanity. 

The day had been clear and cool ; but toAvards 
evening the clouds gathered, and a cold driving 
rain commenced, which continued through the night. 
His feelings had never been so severely tried ; and, 
of all the anxious and sleepless nights he had hith- 
erto passed, this was by far the most painful. Many 
of his brave fellows lay cold in death on that bat- 
tle-field which he was leaving, and many more lay 
there suffering intensely from cold, hunger, and the 


•wounds they had received, exposed to " the pelt- 
ings of the pitiless storm," uncared for, and without 
the least mitigation of their agonies. Then he was 
retreating before a victorious enemy, with the re- 
mains of his army famished with hunger, marching 
over deep roads, and through the drenching rains 
of that cold stormy night, fifteen or sixteen miles, 
to a place of safety ! 

Whoever will let his imagination dwell on this 
scene for one moment must value his liberties more 
than ever, and feel a higher veneration for the men 
by whose toils and sacrifices they were achieved ; 
but let Gen. Greene speak for himself. On the day 
after the battle he wrote to his wife a letter, in 
which he says : "Our fatigue has been excessive. 
I have not had my clothes off for upwards of six 
weeks. Poor Major Burnet is sick, and in a 
situation worse than you would think tolerable 
for one of your negroes. Morris, too, is not well ; 
indeed, my whole family are almost worn out. 
The force coming to the southward, and the 
situation of Gen. Arnold in Virginia, opens to us 
more flattering prospects. But how uncertain are 
human affairs ! I should be extremely happy if 
the war had an honorable close, and I were on a 
little farm with my little family about me. God 
grant the day may not be far distant when peace 
with all her train of blessings shall diffuse universal 
joy through America.' ' 

The battle field during that evening and night 
presented a most awful scene of suffering and 
wretchedness. Such another was not witnessed 


during the war ; and if Cornwallis had the common 
feelings of humanity, they must have been as 
intensely excited as those of Gen. Greene ; for he 
saw there before him what Gen. Greene could only 
imagine. As a matter of course the wounded of 
the British army were attended to first; but as 
they had neither shelter nor provisions, Yery little 
could be done for any of them during the night. 
They were scattered over a great extent of surface, 
a mile long, and half a mile wide. Many of them 
were in the woods, and the night was dark and 
stormy, so that only a partial relief could be 
afforded. It has always been said that Cornwallis 
had the wounded of the American army treated 
with as much humanity as possible, after his own 
had been cared for, and it may have been so ; but 
his lordship did not go to hunt up the wounded 
himself, and those to whom it was intrusted, 
hungry and weary as they were, however humane, 
may have left many, like Capt. Forbis, entirely 

Stedman, who was commissary to the army of 
Cornwallis, and who was therefore well acquainted 
with its condition, gives the following account : 
" The wounded of both . armies were collected by 
the British as expeditiously as possible after the 
action. It was, however, a service that required 
both time and care, as from the nature of the action 
they lay dispersed over a great extent of ground. 
Every assistance was furnished to them that in the 
present circumstances of the army could be 
afforded; but, unfortunately, the army was desti- 


tute of tents, nor was there a sufficient number of 
houses near the field, of battle to receive the 
wounded. The British army had marched several 
miles on the morning of the day on which they 
came to action. They had no provisions of any 
species whatever on that day, nor until between 
three and four in the afternoon of the succeeding 
day, and then but a scanty allowance, not exceeding 
one quarter of a pound of flour, and the same 
quantity of very lean beef. The night of the 
day on which the action happened was remarkable 
for its darkness accompanied with rain, which fell 
in torrents. Near fifty of the wounded, it is said, 
sinking under their aggravated miseries, expired 
before the morning. The cries of the wounded 
and dying who remained on the field of action 
during the night exceeded all description. Such a 
complicated scene of horror and distress, it is 
hoped, for the sake of humanity, rarely occurs, 
even in a military life." 

If Stedman, who published his history twelve 
years, after and was with Cornwallis in all his 
campaigns, in which he witnessed many a horrid 
scene of blood and carnage — if he still retained 
such a vivid impression of the one at Martinville, 
it must have been distressing beyond any thing we 
can conceive. Cornwallis spent the two following 
days in burying the dead, refreshing his troops, 
procuring subsistence, and remodelling his army ; 
for it had been so cut up and reduced that some 
re-organization was necessary. In his despatch to 
Lord George Germain, dated the 17th, the second 


day after the battle, he says that they could get no 
forage under nine miles, and that the soldiers had 
then been two days without bread. Stedman says 
that on the 16th they got a quarter of a pound of 
flour to a man ; but this was so little that the 
discrepancy is of no consequence. Although 
Cornwallis, in his general orders after the battle, 
complimented the army on the bravery they had 
displayed, and the victory they had gained, we can 
see that it was in a very crippled condition, and 
that he did not find any real advantage from his 
nominal triumph. — (See Appendix, Orders for March 
16, 17, 1781.) 

Badly as his lordship was worsted by the battle 
he did all he could to save appearances and main- 
tain his influence with the loyalists. He proclaimed 
the victory far and near, and Governor Martin being 
along with his printing press, as we learn from some 
incidental notices, on the 18th he issued the follow- 
ing proclamation : 

" By the Bight honorable Charles Earl Cornwallis, 
Lieutenant- General of His Majesty's forces, &c. 
"A Proclamation. 

"Whereas, by the blessing of Almighty God, His 
Majesty's arms have been crowned with signal suc- 
cess, by the complete victory obtained over the 
rebel forces on the 15th instant, I have thought 
proper to issue this proclamation to call upon all 
loyal subjects to stand forth and take an active part 
in restoring good order and government. And 
whereas, it has been represented to me, that many 


persons in this province, who have taken a share 
in this unnatural rebellion, but having experienced 
the oppression and injustice of the rebel govern- 
ment, and having seen the errors into which they 
have been deluded by falsehoods and misrepresen- 
tations, are sincerely desirous of returning to their 
duty and allegiance, I do hereby notify and promise 
to all such persons, (murderers excepted) that if 
they will surrender themselves, with their arms 
and amunition, at head-quarters, or to the officer 
commanding in the district contiguous to their 
respective places of residence, on or before the 20th 
day of April next, they shall be permitted to return 
to their homes, upon giving a military parole, and 
shall be protected in their persons and properties 
from all sorts of violence from the British troops, 
and will be restored as soon as possible to all the 
privileges of legal and constitutional government. 

"Given under my hand at head-quarters, this 
18th day of March, A. D. 1781, and in the twenty- 
first year of his Majesty's reign. 


The proclamation was in vain; for very few of 
the loyalists resorted to the British standard after 
the battle. Most of them had discernment enough 
to see that, although Cornwallis kept the ground 
and claimed the victory, he had been roughly 
handled and that his army was greatly reduced in 
number, that he was obliged to leave a large num- 
ber of his wounded soldiers on the charity and 
kindness of the good people in the neighborhood 
and that he was actually leaving the country which, 


he pretended to have conquered — all which would 
have made them cautious even if they had not been 
previously so cut to pieces themselves. 

Stedman says, " when the extent of the British 
loss was fully ascertained, it became too apparent 
that Lord Cornwallis was not in a condition either 
to give immediate pursuit, or to follow the blow the 
day after the action." And in a note on the next 
page he says, "Lord Cornwallis was greatly dis- 
appointed in his expectation of being joined by the 
loyalists. Some of them indeed came within the 
lines, but they remained only a few days." In 
another place he tells us that only about two hun- 
dred of them joined them during their progress 
through the State, and that his lordship was greatly 

On the morning of the 17th, he sent off as many 
of his wounded as he could to Bell's Mill, under the 
escort of Col. Hamilton's corps; but he sent only 
such as were expected to recover of their wounds, 
and be serviceable again in the army. About seventy, 
according to Stedman, of such as were thought to 
be mortally wounded, or were too bad to be re- 
moved, and, in the opinion of the surgeons, could 
not recover, or not in time to answer their purpose, 
were left at New Grarden under the protection of a 
flag, some of whom died and some eventually 

About fourteen years ago, James Edwards, a 
Quaker, who was then a very old man, having been 
about twenty-one at the time of the battle, told me 
that Captain Ripke was taken to the house of his 


father, David Edwards, where he was nursed and 
attended for two or three weeks. Edwards being 
a Quaker might have been mistaken as to his rank, 
but he was an officer, and belonged to Tarleton's 
corps. The ball — of a pistol, we suppose — had 
entered the lower part of the chest, but did not 
penetrate any vital part. Whenever he turned 
suddenly from one side to the other it would drop 
down and make a noise. He would frequently call 
the old man, and throw himself over to let him hear 
it, then get mad and curse it, " dem the thing, 
dem the thing;" but he measurably recovered, 
though the ball was not extracted, returned to Eng- 
land, and wrote to his benefactor thanking him for 
his kindness. 

They left the battle-ground before noon of the 
17th, and lay that night in the neighborhood of 
New Garden, They left without doing any injury 
to the village, except burning the house of Mr. 
Campbell, who lived at the north-west corner of the 
court-house, and who was probably an active Whig 
On the morning of the 18th, he directed his course 
to the sea board, and made all the haste he could. 
Tarleton says, "Earl Cornwallis, therefore, com- 
menced his march on the 18th for Deep river, on 
his way to Cross creek ;" and Cornwallis in his 
letter to Lord George Germain, dated Wilmington, 
April 18th, 1781, says, " I marched from Guilford 
on the morning of the 18th of March, and the next 
day arrived at Bell's Mill, where I gave the troops 
two days' rest, and procured a small supply of pro- 
visions." His lordship's proclamation was a mere 


puff, and had little or no effect on the Tories. In 
the Order Book, which extends no further than 
Bell's Mill, I find no notice of them, except the 
appointment or recognition of a militia colonel, and 
some specification of his powers. {See Appendix, 
Orders for March 18, 19, 20, 1781.) 

From the above orders it appears that, while they 
were at Bell's mill, James Hunter, Esq., was ap- 
j)ointed Lieut.-Colonel of Militia, and it is im- 
plied that some persons, loyalists, we suppose, who 
in their view had been misled, and induced to take 
part with the rebels, here surrendered; but they 
must have been very few. In his letter to Lord 
George Germain, dated April 18th, 1781, Cornwallis 
gives his reasons for this invasion of North Carolina, 
and its results thus far in regard to the loyalists from 
which we copy the following extract, and feel confi- 
dent that it will be gratifying to the reader. 

" The principal reasons for undertaking the win- 
ter's campaign were, the difficulty of a defensive 
war in South Carolina, and the hope that our 
friends in North Carolina, who were said to be very 
numerous, would make good their promises of as- 
sembling and taking an active part with us, in en- 
deavoring to re-establish his majesty's government. 
Our experience has shown, that their numbers luere 
not so great as had been represented, and that their 
friendship was only passive, for we have received 
little assistance from them since our arrival in the 
province ; and, although I gave the strongest and 
most public assurances, that after refitting and de- 
positing our sick and wounded, I should return to 


the upper country, not above two hundred have been 
prevailed upon to follow us, either as provincials or 

Had it not been for the Continentals, and such a 
man as Gen. Greene at their head, the British might 
have overrun this State and brought it into tempo- 
rary subjection, as they did South Carolina, and 
would have done any other State in the Union with- 
out a regular army ; but, as it was, they did not un- 
dertake a more toilsome, harassing, or fruitless 
campaign, north or south, during the war; and every 
son of the Old North State will be pleased to learn 
that there were not half, probably not a tenth part 
as many real Tories in it as has been represented. 

On arriving at Bell's mill, Cornwallis took pos- 
session of the house, and kindly promised Mrs. Bell 
that she and her property should be protected, and 
no general or extensive depredations were com- 
mitted. Some trespasses were perhaps unavoidable, 
such as taking grain, provisions, and some other 
things, which were comparatively unimportant ; but 
these, together with what passed on taking posses- 
sion of the house relative to the result of the late 
battle, and some minor incidents, will be detailed in 
another place where they will be rather more appro- 

Gen. Greene remained in his camp three or four 
days, beyond the Iron Works, expecting to be at- 
tacked ; but his apprehensions were groundless, for 
Cornwallis was much more uneasy lest Greene should 
pursue and overtake him. As soon as it became 
certain that he would not be attacked but that the 


enemy were retreating, he went in pursuit. The 
tables were now turned. He, who only a few weeks 
before was flying before his enemy, has become the - 
pursuer. Cornwallis had about forty miles the 
start of him, but he seemed to vacillate in his pur- 
pose and Qen. Greene took a route that was a little 
nearer. Johnson says that Cornwallis "pressed 
forward across Deep river in a direction towards 
Salisbury," as if intending, or making Greene believe 
it was his intention to push into South Carolina, 
but it is doubtful whether he had either in his 
mind ; for Tarleton says, " Some supplies of flour 
and meal being collected in the neighborhood of 
Bell's Mill, the royal forces again crossed Deep river, 
that they might move through a country well sup- 
plied with forage," on the road to Ramsey's mill. 
Crippled and encumbered as he was with sick and 
wounded he had no time to lose in stratagems, and 
of this Gen. Greene was well aware. 

Before they left Bell's, on the morning of the 21st, 
Lee and Washington were hovering near and cut- 
ting off stragglers. Occasionally they hung a mur- 
dering Tory, had one or two of their own men killed, 
and sometimes attacked a flanking party or the rear 
of the enemy. Stedman says, " Occasional skir- 
mishes happened between the light troops;" and 
Tarleton makes a much stronger statement as we 
shall see presently. Either Cornwallis was in doubt 
himself, or he aimed to keep Gen. Greene in doubt 
whether he would cross Deep river or make a push 
across the Haw where he would be safe ; for instead 
of going the most direct route to Eamsey's, he bore to 


the left and went by Dixon's mill on Cane creek, 
where they encamped. His lordship took possession 
of the dwelling, a stone house near the mill, and 
Mrs. Dixon left the place. The army encamped on 
the high ground this side, part of them being on the 
ground where Thomas Dixon's house now stands, 
and where the evidences of their having been 
there still remain. Several of their men died that 
night and were laid in the burying ground attached 
to the Quaker meeting house. Besides sheep and 
some other animals, they killed eighty beeves, which 
had been collected from the surrounding country, 
and dug a well, by the mill dam, twenty -five feet 
deep. On the strength of a tradition that, their 
horses being too poor and weak to perform much 
service, they had dropped into the well two of the 
cannon taken from Gen. Greene, the well was 
opened a few years ago, but nothing was found 
except a few old chains and some other things of 
no value. For their wounded officers they made a 
kind of palanquin or travelling bed, by fastening a 
bed quilt, or piece of canvass, of proper length and 
breadth, to two poles, and then fastening the poles 
to two horses with the bed between them. As the 
poles were slender and yielding, it made a very easy 
bed, but still, with that constant though gentle mo- 
tion, must have been very irritating. 

It would be a source of some amusement if we 
knew all that passed in the Tory ranks and coun- 
cils, after the Guilford battle, and all the little inci- 
dents that occurred during the retreat of the British, 
but with few exceptions, they have long since been 


forgotten, and many, Ave suppose, were kept to them- 

According to a tradition, which I am told is re- 
liable, while the British were at, or not far from 
Bell's mill, Colonel Washington went over on Back 
creek, for the purpose, mainly, of suppressing or 
overawing the Tories. When near the place now 
known as the Widow Moss's, he met some thirty or 
more Quakers, from Uwharie, Caraway, Back creek, 
and other neighborhoods in that portion of Kan- 
dolph county. The position which he or they occu- 
pied being an elevated one, he descried them at a 
considerable distance, and not feeling certain, per- 
haps, of their character or intentions, he ordered 
his men to retire a little from the road, where they 
would be concealed by a thicket of bushes or under- 
growth; but their broad-brimmed hats and drab- 
colored clothes soon satisfied him that they were 
Quakers, and he quietly awaited their approach. 
On coming up, they saluted him in their usual style, 
" Well, how does thee do to-day, friend?" and then 
went on to ask a number of questions relative to 
the business in hand. " Is thee an officer ?" " Does 
thee belong to the army ?" " AVhere is friend Corn- 
wallis ?" To each of which in succession, he kindly 
and civilly replied — that he was an officer, and that 
he belonged to the army ; that the army was at or 
near Bell's mill, and that Cornwallis would soon be 
along. These answers were rather equivocal ; but, 
having no idea that an American officer would now 
dare to show his face so near to the head-quarters of 
Cornwallis, they took it for granted that he was an 


officer iii the British army, and disclosed their in- 
tentions without reserve or hesitation. They told 
him that as Greene had been defeated and driven 
from the country, or obliged to retreat into Bock- 
ingham, the British arms were now completely 
triumphant, and that they were going to pay their 
respects to friend Cornwallis, and tell him that they 
were a peace-loving, sober, quiet people, having no 
enmity to him or the British government. Wash- 
ington then informed them who he was, and assured 
them that General Greene had not left the State, nor 
had, in fact, been defeated, but would soon be along 
in pursuit of Lord Cornwallis. With his usual 
urbanity, he told them further, that they were not 
acting in accordance with their religious faith or 
avowed principles, and that they had better stay at 
home and attend to their own business. He now 
ordered his men to surround them ; and having 
done so, some of them pointed out to him a man 
among the Quakers, who was a noted Tory, and who 
w r as known to have been guilty, not long before, of 
robbery and murder. He did not, of course, belong 
to the Quaker society ; but, whether by accident or 
design, is not known, he had fallen in with them, 
and was going along to pay his respects to Lord 
Cornwallis, and acknowledge his submission to 
British authority. Being satisfied of the facts, 
Washington ordered two of his men to take him 
and hang him to the limb of a large persimmon 
tree which was near, and on which Hartwell Hun- 
ter, my informant, says, had not long before been 
hung by the Tories. This was at Beckerdite's 


store, near the Widow "Wood's, where the tree is 
yet standing. 

When the Tory was swung off so unceremo- 
niously, there were two of the Quakers sitting on 
their horses, not far from the tree, and one said to 
the other, " Well, don't that beat the devil ?" 
Washington then marched the Quakers, half dead 
with fear, to a barn which stood at a short distance, 
where he made six of those who were most finely 
dressed, and six of his own men whose regimentals 
had become the most shabby looking, go into the 
barn and exchange clothes from top to toe. When 
they came out so completely metamorphosed, and 
all, of both parties, making such a ludicrous appear- 
ance, he ordered them to make a similar exchange 
of horses, the Quakers giving their fine fat horses 
in exchange for the lean, war-worn horses of the 
others. At first, the Quakers objected most strenu- 
ously to this whole proceeding, one alleging that 
his horse was borrowed ; another, that his hat, or 
some part of his dress did not belong to him; and 
every one offering the most plausible reason he 
could ; but it was all in vain. The Quakers had to 
go off with their poor horses and their old tattered 
cavalry dress ; and the cavalry men kept their fat 
horses, their drab suits and their broad brims. 
Before dismissing them, Washington gave them 
another friendly talk, and advised them to go home 
and stay there, attend to their own concerns in 
future, and live up to their professions of peace and 
good will to all men. The old Friend, my informant 
says, who gave him the above account, or rather 


confirmed, it, for it had long been a tradition in the 
country, said he had often heard his father telling- 
how he looked and felt when he returned to his 
family, riding on a broken down cavalry horse instead 
of the fine animal which he had taken from home, 
and wearing an old greasy looking horseman's 
cap and tattered regimentals, instead of his broad 
brimmed beaver and his fine drab suit of broad 
cloth. Before dismissing them, he laid his com- 
mands on them to keep quiet and not make it 
known that they had seen Col. Washington in 
those parts, or it might not be as well for them. 

I have been told that Jeremiah Yorke, and a man 
by the name of Morgan, both of whom lived on or 
near Deep River, were at this time, with "Washington, 
and gave him the information about the Tory. 
How they came to be with him I have not learned ; 
but when the Quakers left, York, Morgan and several 
others were perhaps on their return home, or on a 
scout, when they fell in with some British, probably 
stragglers or a small foraging party, and had a little 
skirmish, in which Yorke was badly wounded, and 
one or two of the British were killed ; but of this 
affair I have no particulars, nor any very definite 
information, and give it only as I heard it in the 
country. If all such things had been recorded at 
an early period, it would have been much more 
satisfactory, and the Old North State would now 
appear to much better advantage. 

If Cornwallis crossed Deep river, he could do it 
by either of two routes, by Bamsey's Mill, which is 
the lowest mill on the river, and is now owned by 


Austin Jones, or by Eigden's ford, about forty miles 
above ; and, for two days, Gen. Greene was kept in 
suspense. If he aimed for either of these points, the 
British commander would push for the other. This 
was good policy, if not his only possible chance to 
escape ; for, if he had moved, at once, towards either 
place, Gen. Greene would have overtaken him and 
brought him to action, but in those two days he had 
a rude bridge constructed over the river at Bam- 
sey's, and got safely over. As soon as Greene knew 
that they were in motion for Eamsey's, he com- 
menced a hot pursuit; and so eager were the men to 
succeed, that they seemed to forget the calls of na- 
ture, and many of them fainted from exhaustion; 
but they were a little too late ; for the enemy had 
just got over and partially cut down the bridge, 
when they arrived. When such a man as Tarleton, 
makes any kind of concession, or acknowledges ap- 
prehension on the part of the British, we may be sure 
there was good ground for it ; and he gives the fol- 
lowing graphic account of their progress from Bell's 
to Eamsey's mill, and of the condition of the army 
as unfit for action. 

" The day before the king's troops arrived at Eam- 
sey's the Americans insulted the Jagers in their en- 
campment. The royalists remained a few days at 
Eamsey's, for the benefit of the wounded, and to 
complete a bridge over Deep river, when the light 
troops of the Americans again disturbed the pick- 
ets, and the army was ordered under arms. Be- 
fore the end of the month, the British crossed the 
river, and the same day General Greene reached 


Kamsey's with an intention to attack them. The 
halt of the king's troops at that place nearly occa- 
sioned an action, which would not probably have 
been advantageous to the royal forces, on account of 
the badness of the position, and the disheartened 
circumstances of their being encumbered with so 
many wounded officers and men since the action at 

During the short time that they lay at Ramse} 7 's 
they were considerably annoyed by some Whigs in 
the neighborhood. Cato Eiddle and his three or 
four brothers, with a few of their neighbors, all of 
whom had good rifles and were good marksmen, 
ensconced themselves behind some rocks on the 
other side, and when the British rode their horses 
into the river to let them drink, these daring fel- 
lows fired on them and killed several. Cornwallis, 
tradition says, had to send his dragoons up the river 
to a ford where they could cross and go down on 
the other side, when they drove them away, but not 
without some difficulty. 

After making such an effort to overtake the 
enemy, Gen. Greene and the whole army were 
greatly disappointed to find that they were a little 
too late. He had sent forward the light troops to 
attack the British and keep them employed until 
he came up; but by the vigilance of his scouts, 
Cornwallis had been notified of their approach just 
in time to get over the river. So close was the 
pursuit, however, that some of his wounded which 
died the night before had to be left unburied, and 
he could not get the bridge entirely broken down. 


Gen. Greene was the more mortified at this disap- 
pointment because it was occasioned by the thought- 
lesness and imprudence of his own men. When he- 
commenced the pursuit from the Iron Works, for the 
sake of expedition, he left his heavy baggage behind, 
and on arriving at the Buffalo creek, such were his 
prospects of overtaking the enemy that he ordered 
an inspection of arms and amunition; but was sur- 
prised to find that his irregular troops had bartered 
away their powder and lead for something to eat or 
drink. It was necessary then, before proceeding 
any further, to send back an express for a supply of 
these articles, which occasioned the loss of a day 
and that day would have enabled him, with all 
ease, to overtake his retreating foe ; but the All- 
wise Being, whose kingdom rules over all, had an 
ulterior object in view and it was all for the best. 
He could not continue the pursuit, and for several 
reasons. If he had undertaken to repair the bridge 
for the army to cross, or had gone up to Eigdon's 
ford, the enemy would have gained not less than 
two days and would then have been beyond his 
reach. The time of the militia, both the volunteers 
and the drafted, had now expired and they demanded 
their discharge. The time of the year had come for 
putting in their crops and making provision for 
their families, and no arguments or entreaties could 
prevail on them to remain. This was a matter of 
deep regret to the commander, but there was no 
alternative. He was obliged to grant their request, 
and then his number was again reduced below that 
of the enemy. The country below the river afforded 


very little sustenance for man or beast and that 
little was consumed by the retreating army. As 
the Tories were the most numerous they concealed 
every thing of the kind ; and Gen. Greene could get 
no certain intelligence about the progress of Corn- 
wallis, or the condition of his army. In addition 
to all this, his scouting and foraging parties were 
waylaid and shot down by men who were concealed 
in the swamps and other inaccessible places. For 
all these reasons, he determined to carry out a plan 
which seems to have been, for some time, revolving 
in his mind, and which depended on the movements 
of the enemy. It was to march into South Carolina ; 
but to follow him there would be foreign from my 
design in the present work. 

The region of country along Deep river and below 
it was now in a most deplorable condition ; for it was 
rendered almost a scene of desolation by the exter- 
minating warfare carried on between the Whigs and 
Tories ; and the sufferings even of the British army 
were enough to excite commiseration. From the 
time the British entered the State the Whigs had 
been persecuted, plundered and driven from their 
houses. Many of them had been waylaid and shot 
down, either in their own houses or along the road. 
The retreat of Cornwallis and the advance of the 
American army inspired them with fresh courage 
and was the signal for their return. 

Under such circumstances, a spirit of revenge was 
manifested, which was natural perhaps, but much to 
be regretted ; and Gen. Greene in his letters, re- 
peatedly says, "If this carnage between Whig 


and Tory is continued, this country must be de- 
populated." For a year or two the men of both 
parties, either lay concealed in the woods and 
swamps, or were embodied for mutual protection. 
This state of things furnished the loyalists with 
strong inducements and many opportunities to annoy 
the American army if it had attempted to pass 
through the country, and might have been a serious 
obstacle to its progress. The Whigs in that re- 
gion were few in number; but they were active and 
resolute, nor did they suffer the enemy to pass 
altogether unmolested or unharmed. In a country 
like ours, where the people are intelligent, united 
and determined to be free, they cannot be subdued. 
A foreign army may pass through the country and 
conquer in every pitched battle, but they will be 
waylaid and cut off in detail. Cato Eiddle and his 
sharp-shooters, on the first day, tumbled several of 
the Ked Coats off their horses and sent them drifting 
down the stream. At night they went home, and 
returned the next morning, when they occupied the 
same position and not altogether in vain ; but their 
success was now small for the enemy had learned to 
keep away. The stratagem to capture them by 
sending a troop of horsemen up the river to cross at 
a ford and go down on the other side, was conducted 
with so much secrecy and dispatch that it had well 
nigh succeeded. In the afternoon, when on their 
way home, walking along very leisurely, and not 
dreaming of any danger, the dragoons came upon 
them in a lane so suddenly that they had barely 
time to get over the fence and take shelter in a large 


plum orchard, the trees of which stood so thick 
on the ground that it was impossible for horsemen 
to ride through it. In this thicket they took their 
stand, and altogether, determined, if need be, to sell 
their lives as dearly as possible ; and the British 
unable to approach them on horseback, remained for 
some time on the outside, apparently much perplexed 
and not knowing what to do. Not a rifle or a pistol 
was fired, though they were only a few steps apart. 
Thus they stood eyeing each other like two court- 
yard bullies who wanted to fight but were doubtful 
about the result ; the British feeling assured that if 
they provoked such daring men by firing on them> 
some of themselves would certainly be made the 
victims of their deadly rifles ; and the rifle party 
thinking that if, under existing circumstances, they 
exasperated their adversaries by killing any of them, 
the rest would become desperate by rushing upon them 
when their guns were empty, and the consequence 
might be fatal. At length they slowly, silently, 
and, as if by mutual consent, receded from their 
position and went away. It is said, however, that 
some of the dragoons overtook a portion of this 
party before they got home, but only to their own 
loss. An officer who came upon William Brantly, 
was about to kill him, and had his sword drawn for 
the purpose, when Cato Eiddle, seeing his friend's 
clanger and being only a few steps before, sprung 
from his horse and shot the officer dead. The pur- 
suit was then given up and the enemy returned to 
their encampment. 

The British had a number of prisoners who had 


been taken at different points on the route ; but, 
finding them an insupportable burden in their des- 
titute and suffering condition, before crossing the 
river, Cornwallis let them go, or, rather, gave them 
such an opportunity to escape, that they deemed it 
equivalent to an express permission. 

When they were approaching Upper Little river, 
the dragoons under Tarleton having been sent 
forward, as usual, to scour the country, captured 
Captain Peoples, Captain Daniel Buie, Duncan 
Buie, old Jacob Gaster, John Small, and a man by 
the name of Strodder. In " crowning" Duncan 
Buie, they gave him a severe cut on the top of the 
head, and a worse one, on the cheek bone, leaving 
him for dead, but he recovered. Peoples made his 
escape through the cracks of the " bull pen," or en- 
closure in which they were kept. Daniel Buie died 
on board the prison ship at Wilmington. Gaster, 
Small, and Strodder, were taken to Wilmington, 
and after a time, exchanged. At Monro's, on Lower 
Little river, the bridge had been broken down by 
the Whigs, to retard their progress; but they soon 
got over, and took old Daniel Monro prisoner, and 
his son Malcolm, who was attached to Capt. M'Cra- 
nie's company, but happened now to be at home. 
They were taken to Wilmington, and there paroled. 
At Cross creek, they met with a kind reception from 
their friends, but the resources of the country were 
small. Tarleton and Stedman tell us that the set- 
tlers upon Cross creek, notwithstanding all that 
they had suffered from the British government, 
" still retained a warm attachment to their mother 


country," and showed " great zeal for the interest 
of the royal army; that they brought in all the 
spirits and provisions they could collect within a 
convenient distance ;" and that " the sick and 
wounded were plentifully supplied with useful and 
comfortable refreshments." On this or some other 
account, no great depredations were committed on 
the property of the citizens. " They spoiled the 
machinery in the mills," which probably belonged 
to Whigs, " took out the irons, and stopped them 
from grinding ;" but no person was put to death, 
and no efforts were made to find out and punish 
rebels. Their thoughts were more occupied in pro- 
viding for their own safety, than in punishing trea- 
son and maintaining the laws, and their stay was 
necessarily short. 

Stores of provisions for the American army had 
been collected at Cross creek, but when General 
Greene found that Cornwallis would go down on 
that side of the river, he dispatched couriers to 
General Lillington, who was stationed in that region 
with a body of militia, to remove these stores, and 
annoy them as much as possible. The removal of 
the stores to a place where they were safe, or could 
easily be protected, left the British army no re- 
source, except the immediate neighborhood, and 
that, especially after it had been so much ravaged, 
could hardly afford one ration for fifteen hundred 
or two thousand men. They were obliged to leave ; 
but they could not descend the river in boats ; for 
Lillington had destroyed or removed them all for a 
number of miles; and there were many Whigs, 


daring spirits and good riflemen, who would have 
made a descent on the river, if the boats had been 
at command, rather a hazardous business. Corn- 
wallis says in his dispatch to Lord George Germain, 
dated Wilmington, April 18, 1781 : 

"From all my information I intended to have 
halted at Cross creek, as a proper place to refresh 
and refit the troops ; and I was much disappointed, 
on my arrival there to find it totally impossible. 
Provisions were scarce, not four days forage within 
twenty miles, and to us the navigation of Cape Fear 
river to Wilmington impraticable ; for the distance by 
water is upwards of one hundred miles, the breadth 
seldom above one hundred yards, the banks high, 
and the inhabitants on each side generally hostile." 

Immediately after telling us that they were so 
liberally furnished with provisions, spirits, &c, by 
the inhabitants of Cross creek and its vicinity, 
Steel man says on the same page, " Upon the arrival 
of the British commander at Cross creek, he found 
himself disappointed in all his expectations. Pro- 
visions were scarce, four days forage not to be 
procured within twenty miles; and the commu- 
nication expected to be opened between Cross 
creek and Wilmington, by means of the river, 
was found to be impracticable, the river itself 
being narrow, its banks high, and the inhabitants 
on both sides for a considerable distance inveterately 
hostile. Nothing therefore now remained to be 
done but to proceed with the army to Wilming- 
ton, in the vicinity of which it arrived on the 17th 
of April." ISTo attempt was made to impede their 


progress or to harass them on their march, but they 
had some proof of a hostile disposition on the part 
of the inhabitants. At Mrs. Cain's some miles 
above Wilmington, where Capt. Peoples made his 
escape, when a British officer rode down to the edge 
of the river, an American shot at him from the 
opposite bank, and broke his thigh. 

On their way to Wilmington, and while there, 
besides many of the rank and file, they buried 
several of their valuable officers, who died of their 
wounds, and others had to be left on account of im- 
paired health. Col. Webster died on the way, and 
was buried a little below Elizabethtown. Wilson 
Webster, Lieut.-Colonel in the British army, was a 
Scotchman, and the son of a Presbyterian clergy- 
man, the Rev. Dr. Webster, of Edinbugh. Intelli- 
gent, brave, courteous in his address, gentlemanly 
in his bearing, and of high professional attainments, 
no officer in the army was more beloved by the 
soldiers, and Cornwallis turned away sad and sorrow- 
ing from his grave. Americans of all parties respect 
the place where his ashes repose ; but to the reproach 
of his ungrateful country, not even a rude stone 
marks the place of his interment. A few years ago 
some gentlemen in the neighborhood, undertook to 
find the place, and ascertain in what condition were 
his remains. For this purpose they topk with them 
* an old negro, who, it was supposed, might serve as 
a guide ; and on reaching the grove, after looking 
round a few moments, he pointed out the precise 
spot. One of the gentlemen stuck the point of his 
cane in the ground, and, discovering that it readily 


gave way, ordered a servant to take a spade and 
cautiously remove the earth. He did so, and it 
was discovered to be a grave. They continued the 
operation, and soon came on what appeared to be 
the body of a soldier. It seemed to be perfect, and 
the ornament on the cap was entire. All gazed in 
mute silence on the spectacle, and were surprised to 
see how little change had been made in half a 
century ; but the illusion was soon at an end ; for 
the corpse at first so life-like in appearance, on 
being exposed to the atmosphere, soon crumbled 
into dust. They filled up the grave again, and 
retired with a feeling of regret that they had dis- 
turbed the ashes of the dead. 

In Wilmington, according to Tarleton and Sted- 
man, Cornwallis learned to his sorrow that Gen. 
Greene had turned his course from Eamsey's Mill to 
South Carolina, and was pushing forward to attack 
the British post at Cambden. This intelligence 
rendered his lordship's situation more embarrassing 
than ever, "and left him only a choice of difficulties 
none of which were unaccompanied with hazard, 
nor easy to be surmounted ;" for if Greene succeeded 
in capturing or driving away their garrisons, which 
he must do unless they could be reinforced, all his 
past toils and conquests would be in vain and the 
whole southern country be lost to the British 
government. His adversary had got such a start of 
him that he could not possibly reach Cambden in 
time to give Lord Rawden any assistance, and then 
he might get so hemmed up between the rivers, by 
the Americans, that he would be forced to surrender. 


A march through the country to Cambden, if not 
impracticable, was so difficult and perilous that a 
commander of his sagacity and in his crippled con- 
dition would not attempt it ; and to transport his 
army by water to Charleston was deemed too dis- 
graceful . But, apart from the disgrace, the delay 
which it must occasion would render the measure 
useless ; and he seemed to be surrounded with dif- 
ficulties almost insurmountable. Yet something 
must be done ; for to remain there would be useless, 
and as the sickly season was coming on, the rem- 
nant of his army would be still further reduced by 
disease. As Gen. Greene had gone south, and there 
was no force in this State to impede his progress, 
the way was open into eastern Virginia where Gen. 
Phillips commanded a respectable force, and, wisely 
or unwisely he determined to march northward. 
Such were the reasons assigned ; but probably this 
course was adopted more as a prudential measure 
for his own safety than anything else. Stedman 
says, that he was not without hope that by menacing 
so large and powerful a State as Virginia, he might 
draw Gen. Greene from the south ; but he had already 
learned, by experience, too much of Gen. Greene's 
sagacity and firmness to think that he could be thus 
duped or turned from his purpose. More likely it 
was only a pretext to satisfy some of his officers who 
were for pushing into South Carolina to relieve Lord 
Rawden, and that he could find safety and maintain 
his credit in no other way. Tarleton, rather harshly 
perhaps, censures his lordship for this measure, and 
Stedman as sharply reproves Tarleton for his in- 



gratitude and insolence. With their censures and 
reproofs we have nothing to do; but Cornwallis 
could hardly have taken a course which would more 
effectually subserve the American cause and insure 
his own ruin. 

It appears that Gov. Martin was with the British 
army in all its southern campaigns and present at 
all the battles fought. He is mentioned particularly 
as having been at the battles of Cambden and Mar- 
tinville in which he took a deep interest and seemed 
to become young again. From an expression in 
Cornwallis' despatch from Wilmington to Lord 
George Germain, we would infer that he embarked 
at that port for England ; but it is not certain. Some 
say he went with the army into Virginia and sailed 
from Norfolk. Others say he went north; but I 
have seen nothing that could be regarded as deci- 
ding the question. 

Cornwallis reached Wilmington on the 17th of 
April, and while he had his head-quarters in town, 
the army was encamped in the immediate vicinity. 
He left on the 25th, I believe, and about the mid- 
dle of May entered Virginia. They met with no 
serious opposition on their march across the eastern 
end of the State, but were, all the time, under 
apprehensions of an attack, and were harassed occa- 
sionally by individuals who would lie in ambush 
about the swamps and shoot down stragglers, or by 
small parties of Whigs who would attack their fora- 
ging parties and diminish their number. Tarleton, 
with about a thousand men, quartered himself for a 
day and a night on the plantation of Col. Slocum, 


lie himself, with, his principal officers, occupying the 
house while the army was encamped in the orchard, 
some two or three hundred yards distant. Mrs. 
Elliot, in her book entitled The Women of the 
Kevolution, gives an entertaining account of what 
passed between Col. Tarleton and the courageous 
and ready-witted Mrs. Slocum, when he took posses- 
sion of the house ; and also of a daring feat of her 
husband, Col. Slocum, and a few of his neighbors. 
Soon after arriving at the place, Tarleton sent out a 
Tory captain with his company of Tories to scour 
the country for two or three miles round, and, while 
thus engaged, Col. Slocum with his little Whig band 
came upon them. A terrible onslaught followed, 
and half the Tories were killed or wounded. The 
Captain was wounded and fled with four or five of 
his men towards head-quarters; and the Colonel, 
with about the same number of his Whigs, went in 
hot pursuit. So great was their eagerness to kill 
the Captain or take him prisoner that they were in 
the midst of a thousand British, most of them 
mounted, before they thought of any danger, or 
were even aware that the enemy were on the planta- 
tion, but by great presence of mind and an act of 
most daring courage, they dashed through and made 
their escape. Col. Slocum, with a few intrepid and 
patriotic men like himself, hung on the rear of the 
British army, cutting off stragglers and sometimes 
attacking their foraging parties all the way into 
Virginia, when they made their way to Yorktown 
and were present at the surrender. 

Soon after leaving North Carolina, Cornwallis 


formed a junction with Gen. Phillips at Petersburg, 
or with his army after his death, and took command 
of the whole. Thence, after meeting with some 
opposition from Lafayette and others, he reached 
Yorktown and there, after enduring a siege of a few 
weeks, he surrendered his whole army, on the 19th 
of October, 1781, to the French and American 
forces under the command of General Washington. 




While the public have been manifesting, for a 
few years past, such a strong and growing desire 
to know all about the revolutionary history, and 
after so many efforts have been made to ascertain 
the facts, and to perpetuate the memory of our 
patriotic ancestors, or such of them as became, in 
any way, prominent during that eventful period, it is 
a matter of some surprise to me that even the name 
of Gov. Franklin has hardly been noticed ; and I de- 
termined to make some inquiry into his character 
and revolutionary services. For this purpose, hav- 
ing no other acquaintance in Surry county where 
he resided, I requested Kobert S. Gilmer, Esq. 
formerly of Guilford, but now a citizen of Mount 
Airy, to procure for me such revolutionary incidents 
of that region as were supposed to be reliable, and 
especially to get, if possible, a sketch, or the facts 
for a sketch, of Gov. Franklin. Not having time 
for such matters himself, he laid my request before 


J. F. Graves, Esq., who is a young lawyer residing 
at Mount Airy, and a grandson of Gov. Franklin. 
With much promptness and courtesy, he sent me, 
in a short time, the following communication, which, 
though short, and manifestly written without any 
disposition to exaggerate or color the facts, we have 
no doubt, will be read with a lively interest, and 
for which he has my warmest acknowledgments. 
His object was, not to write a sketch for publication, 
but merely to furnish the facts, and let me make my 
own use of them ; but, as I did not think that by 
rewriting and remodelling, I could improve the 
style, and as he gave me, in a subsequent letter, 
permission to use the communication in whatever 
way I thought proper, I have given it entire, and 
in his own language. 

"Dear Sir, — Robt. S. Gilmer having requested 
me to furnish you with such information as I may 
be able to gather in relation to occurrences during 
the revolutionary war, and the persons engaged on 
either side in this portion of country, I submit to 
you the following pages. Many of the facts rest on 
tradition only ; for no one in this region, seems ever 
to have taken any pains to preserve any historical 
account of the transactions of those troublesome 

" The principal Whig families in the western and 
north-western part of Surry county, were the Frank- 
lins, Cunninghams, McCraws, Toliaferos, Thomp- 
sons, Underwoods and Williams. Much the greater 
part of the population was, at that time, of the 
Tory party ; bat, the distinction having been kept 


up after the close of the war many of the Tory, 
families moved from the county so that few of the 
old stock remained. The Franklins were among 
the most couspicuous among the Whig families of 
that day. I have no means of tracing their remote 
ancestry except from the traditions among them ; 
and from those it appears that they were of English 
origin. It is not known at what time precisely 
they came to this country ; but they came over to 
Virginia in the early settlement of that colony. 

" Bernard and Mary Franklin, the parents of Jesse, 
were residing in Orange County, Yirginia, at the 
commencement of the revolutionary war. Jesse, 
who was the third of seven sons, was born on the 
24th of March, 1760. I have no incidents to relate 
of his boyish days ; for, if he manifested any pre- 
cociousness of genius, his sturdy father did not 
observe it or find means to foster it. He was sent 
to school when young, until he acquired the rudi- 
ments of an English education ; but before he was 
twelve years old he was forced to quit, and circum- 
stances never permitted him to resume his studies 
afterwards. I think he never studied any other 
language than the English, though I find a Latin 
motto in several of his old books which are in my 
possession. Not very long after the Declaration 
of Independence, I think from the best information 
I can gather, in 1777, he, being about seventeen 
years of age, first entered the army as a volunteer 
and served some time, but I have never been able 
to ascertain how long. After his term of service 
expired, he returned to his father's where he re- 


mairted a short time. His father had, just previous 
to the breaking out of the war, made his arrange- 
ments to remove to the north-western part of North 
Carolina, which was then almost entirely unsettled. 

" The two elder brothers, Jeremiah and Bernard, 
determined to remain in Virginia. Jesse, being 
still under his father's control was sent out to make 
a selection of lands, and to prepare a house and 
provisions for the family, which was to follow on in 
the succeeding fall. Going beyond the settlements, 
and passing through the 'Hollows,' he selected a 
small though beautiful valley on the head waters 
of Mitchell's river in Surry county, as the future 
home of his father. This little valley is surrounded 
on three sides by mountains; Mitchell's river, a 
crystal stream, at that ime abounding in trout, 
running through it. The coves of the mountains 
were covered with pea vines, which afforded the 
best pasturage for horses and cattle, and chestnuts 
and acorns supplied the hogs instead of grain. 
Game of all kinds abounded. Deer and turkey 
were very plenty, and bears and wolves were 
neither few nor shy. Some time in the fall of 
the year, Bernard UranklinJ with the rest of his 
family consisting of four sons and two daughters, 
the oldest of the children with him not being more 
than fifteen years of age, arrived at the log cabins 
prepared for their reception. 

" At that time the British forces having overrun 
South Carolina, and being on their way into North 
Carolina, the Tories, united in predatory bands, 
were ravaging the country and plundering the 


Whig families of every valuable thing upon which 
they could lay their hands. 

" So troublesome and dangerous had they become 
that the prominent Whigs were driven to the ne- 
cessity of building a fort on a hill near the town of 
Wilkesboro', in which they secured themselves 
when not actively engaged. Jesse Franklin joined 
Col. Benjamin Cleveland, his maternal uncle in his 
efforts to drive the Tories out of the county, or to 
restrain them from their predatory habits. Of Col. 
Cleveland's character as a partizan leader, the coun- 
try is full of traditions, and his severity to the 
Tories who fell into his hands, is proverbial. Per- 
haps a few incidents that occurred to Bernard 
Franklin and his family, about this time, may some- 
what illustrate the manner in which the Tory war- 
fare was carried on. Choosing a time when they 
knew Jesse Franklin was from home, for they feared 
him, a band of Tories surrounded the house of his 
father and, while some kept watch on the outside, 
six or seven of them went in to search for plunder. 
The cautious Mrs. Franklin had previously put all 
her best bed clothes and table linen into a large box 
and buried it in the garden, and had potato hills 
made over it and planted, in order more effectually 
to conceal the place where it was hidden. Those 
articles were then secure; but how to save the 
money and other valuables now became the ques- 
tion. There was an old maiden lady livingin the 
family, called Aunt Betty Wells, who possessed 
more than ordinary sagacity and self control. While 
the Tories were preparing to enter the house, she 


went to the desk and took the gold and silver out 
of the drawer, where it was usually kept, and put it 
into a long stocking which she had just finished, 
and sat down on the chair, placing the stocking of 
specie on her lap under her apron. When the 
band entered, they found her very composedly knit- 
ting away as if nothing unusual was taking place. 
They soon commenced rummaging in the drawers 
of the desk, and in the chests, in search of the money 
which was concealed beneath old Aunt Betty's apron. 
During their stay in the house, she kept up a con- 
versation with them continually, fearing they would 
suspect her and force her to give up her treasure. 
They finally left, however, without molesting her. 
The hidden box in the garden and the money was 
nearly all of their property that was now left. I 
have often seen a French crown in the possession 
of Mrs. Mary Graves, daughter of Jesse Franklin, 
now living at Mount Airy, which was saved in old 
Aunt Betty Wells' stocking. Not long after that 
occurrence the same party with some others, came 
to Bernard Franklin's again in search of his negroes 
who had escaped them on their previous visit. An 
unarmed man surrounded by a large party of ruf- 
fianly robbers, has sometimes to submit to very rude 
treatment. On this occasion Mr. Franklin happened 
to have a new hat to which one of the Tories took 
a fancy and, wishing to gratify his vanity, he snatdied 
the new hat from his head and suddenly clapped his 
own old slouch on his head in its stead. Mr. Frank- 
lin's indignation was irrepressible and, dashing the 
old hat on the ground, he stamped it exclaiming, 


' I wish it was the heart of every Tory in the land.' 
The negroes which were carried off, all escaped from 
the Tories and returned in a few weeks to their 
kind master. 

"About this time, in the fall of 1780, Colonels 
Cleveland, Shelby and Sevier, having heard of Col. 
Ferguson's position at King's Mountain, determined 
to attack him there. Jesse Franklin who had been 
with Colonel Cleveland in many of his little skir- 
mishes with the Tory bands that so infested the up 
country, was acting as Adjutant to his battalion at 
that time. The British forces, as you recollect, 
occupied the top of the mountain. The attack was 
made on three sides simultaneously by the Ameri- 
can troops, each one of the Colonels commanding a 
division. After firing a few rounds the smoke ob- 
scured the British troops, and the Americans unable 
to see, faltered. At that critical moment, Jesse 
Franklin rode up in advance of the line and per- 
ceiving the situation of the foe, confused by the 
smoke and shooting above the heads of the assail- 
ants, he encouraged the troops to make another 
effort, assuring them the victory would be theirs if 
the advantage they possessed was improved. Fol- 
lowing him, they advanced until within good range 
of the enemy's line and then fired. In that moment 
Col. Ferguson fell and confusion ensued. Captain 
Eyarson, being the next highest officer assumed 
the command, but all his efforts to restore order 
were unavailing. Surrounded and exposed to a fire 
which they could not return, they soon surrendered- 
Captain Eyarson delivered up his sword to Jesse 


Franklin, saying to him, ' You deserve it, sir.' This 
is Franklin's own account of it corroborated by 
many others. The writer has it from General S. 
Graves who received it from John Boyd, an old 
soldier and eye-witness to the delivery of the sword. 
The sword was, for a longtime, preserved as a relic; 
but a party of gentlemen, on one occasion, in testing 
the temper of the metal, broke it into fragments. 
The pieces were made into knee and shoe buckles, 
and were preserved by the different members of the 
family. The hilt is still preserved and is at present 
in the care of Mr. Ambrose Johnson, of Wilkes 

"After the battle of King's Mountain, Jesse Franklin 
seems not to have done much until the succeeding 
spring. Then hearing that Gen. Greene, on his 
retreat before Cornwallis, had come into the north- 
ern counties, he set off to join the army as a volun- 
teer. It must have been about this time that he 
was sent on an express to the Whig fort at Wilkes- 
boro'; but his family do not seem to remember from 
what point he started. The country was infested 
with foraging parties and Tory bands, and it required 
all his vigilance and daring to get through in safety. 
The incidents of his trip are scarcely worth relating ; 
but as it may a little more fully illustrate the state 
of affairs in the country, I will give you such as I 
remember. Having ridden all night long, he 
reached Salem early in the morning, his horse ex- 
hausted, and himself weary and hungry. 

" Everybody knows that, with few exceptions, the 
inhabitants of Salem were all royalists. Charles 


Baggy was the only exception that I have ever 
heard of. Going to him on his arrival, he asked 
him for a fresh horse and something to eat. "I 
dare not furnish you with anything, for the people 
around me are Tories. There is meat in the cup- 
board and a horse in the stable. Exchange is no 
robbery." Permission having been thus impliedly 
given, he helped himself to a hearty breakfast and 
went to the stable, took out a fine horse, leaving his 
own instead of it, and hastened on to Wilkesboro'. 
On his arrival at the fort, he ascertained that the 
Whig families on Mitchell's river, in his father's 
neighborhood, were entirely destitute of salt. He 
was to return to the army, and as it was very little 
out of his way, he determined to go by his father's 
and carry a little salt to distribute among his friends 
to serve them until supplies could be obtained in 
some other way. He set out from Wilkesboro' on 
a young horse not yet bridle-wise ; and, in order to 
avoid the Tories, who were constantly on the lookout 
for him, he made his way along the mountains 
entirely out of all the settlements. He met with no 
mishaps until late in the evening, as he was getting 
near home, when he was suddenly surprised by a 
party of Tories who had been lurking round his 
father's premises seeking to ensnare him for a long 
time. Surrounded by rifles, he was compelled to 
yield himself into their hands. They soon dis- 
mounted him and tied his hands behind his back. 
In this condition, they replaced him on his horse, 
and having stacked their guns beside a large white- 
oak tree, they led his horse under the pendant 


boughs of a dogwood, and taking the bridle off his 
horse, tied it round his neck and drew the reins 
tightly over the limbs above his head. In this 
situation they commanded him to take the oath of 
allegiance. Although nearly strangled, he refused 
to obey them. Almost maddened by his refusal, 
they loosed the horse, thinking it would run off and 
leave him suspended by the neck. The horse, how- 
ever, stood perfectly still, until one of them seized a 
brush to strike it, and just at that critical moment, 
the bridle broke and he dropped into the saddle, as 
the horse bounded away at full speed. The woods 
was clear of brush or undergrowth, and the horse so 
fleet, that before they could get their rifles ready he 
was beyond their aim, but he heard the bullets 
whistle over his head as he flew. His escape seems 
almost Providential, and so he always regarded it. 
He spent that night at his father's house, in the hay- 
loft, and the next day he set off with a young man, 
named Toliafero, for General Greene's army. They 
arrived at the army, and joined the volunteers a very 
short time before the battle of Guilford Court- 
House. I have not been able to ascertain under 
whom he acted at the battle ; but under whomso- 
ever he served, he was one among the last to leave 
the field. He and Toliafero had taken their horses 
with them to the army, but on the day of battle, 
they served with the infantry and tied their horses 
a little off from the field. When the retreat com- 
menced, they were hotly pursued by a squadron of 
British horsemen. They got to where their horses 
were tied, and Toliafero attempted to untie his, but 


just as he was mounting he was struck down with 
a sword. Franklin cut his reins and vaulted into 
his saddle just as a horseman struck so near him 
that he felt the wind of the sword as it passed his 
cheek. He escaped, and Toliafero's horse came 
along with him. He afterwards went back and 
buried his friend, and brought his gun and car- 
tridge-box to his family. I have been told that the 
gun and accoutrements are still preserved. These 
are about all the facts I can gather in relation to 
Jesse Franklin's services in the war, except some 
few unimportant acts in his partizan warfare against 
the Tories." 

From the narrative of Gen. Graham, lately pub- 
lished in the University Magazine, it appears that 
he was with the North Carolina militia under Gen. 
Pickens, before the British left Hillsboro', and he 
probably continued with him until the battle ; or, 
he might have been sent on his mission to the Fort 
at Wilksboro', after the corps to which he be- 
longed had joined the main army under Gen. Greene. 
He is casually mentioned as having been sent out 
one evening with a little scouting party and is called 
Captain Franklin ; but whether he held the rank of 
Captain by regular appointment, and had a company 
of men, or was, like Major Lewis, merely serving as 
a volunteer and without any command, does not ap- 
pear. As he is mentioned only once, and after Col. 
Preston had joined Pickens, near Haw river, it is 
probable that he had attached himself to Preston's 
corps ; but this is only a conjecture. 

" As to his civil services, you can easily ascertain 


them by reference to the public records, I have not 
the proper references to ascertain dates correctly, or 
I would try to give you a full account of his services 
in the civil department. He was elected to the legis- 
lature from this county while he was quite young. 
As illustrative of his independence and republican 
simplicity, it is related that, during the first session 
of his services in that capacity, at Hillsboro', he 
was under the necessity of having some new shirts 
made ; and the seamstress, whom he had employed, 
having made them with ruffles and frills, according 
to the fashion of the day, when he came to put them 
on, he thought the ruffles did not become the repre- 
sentative of so plain a people as his constituents, and 
so he cut them all off with his knife before wearing 

"Such was his uniform and well known integrity, 
the soundness of his judgment on all the questions 
which then so deeply agitated the public mind, the 
purity of his life and his high toned patriotism, 
that he was not permitted to enjoy, without inter- 
ruption, the comforts of his rural home and the 
society of those whom he loved most dearly. Fond 
of retirement and happy in his domestic relations, 
he neither sought nor desired promotion ; but with 
his kindness of heart and his patriotic devotion, he 
could not refuse when his country called for his 
services. In 1794 he was elected a member of the 
House of Commons and again in 1797. In 1795 he 
was elected a member of Congress and served two 
years, In 1799 he was elected Senator in Congress 
and served until 1805. In 1805 and 1806 he was 


Senator from Surry, and was again elected to the 
Senate of the United States, where he served, 
Wheeler says, until 1813, but his grandson, J. F. 
Graves, Esq., of Mount Airy, says he served until 
1819. In 1820 he was elected Governor and filled 
the Executive chair in 1821 ; but his failing health 
induced him to decline a re-election. While in Con- 
gress, he was on a great many important committees 
and this shows the estimate made of his competency 
and trustworthiness in the legislative assemblies of 
the nation. He was on the committee appointed in 
the case of John Smith, a Senator from Ohio, who 
was implicated with Aaron Burr; and also, on a 
committee on the ordinance of 1787. He was a 
warm advocate for the war of 1812 ; and opposed 
the re-chartering of the United States Bank. At 
the expiration of his second term he declined a re- 
election and hoped to spend the remainder of his 
days in retirement ; but he was, soon after, appointed 
a commissioner with Gen. Jackson and Gen. Meri- 
weather, to treat with the Southern Indians, who 
made a treaty with the Chickasaws on the Bluffs, 
where the city of Memphis now stands. After that 
duty was performed, he filled the Executive chair, 
as stated above, in 1821, and died in 1824, in the 
64th year of his age. He is said to have been a 
grave, dignified-looking man, and rather above the 
medium size. He is, also, said to have been a good 
speaker ; but his greatest reputation seems to have 
been for sound judgment, good, hard common sense. 
" His opinions were sought after by the prominent 
men of that day on all the important questions of 


national interest ; and his grandson, J. F. Graves, 
Esq., informs me that he has read many of the 
letters written by distinguished men of that day, 
asking for his opinion; but many of these, with 
his answers, owing to separations in the family, 
and removal of its members, have either been lost, 
or taken beyond our reach. I have now before me 
copies of four letters addressed to him. One by 
Gen. Steele, dated Salisbury, February 20th, 1796 ; 
one from Richard Dobbs Spaight, dated Kewberne, 
March 5th, 1802 ; one from Abraham Baldwin, 
dated Washington, March 3d, 1803 ; and one from 
David Stone, dated Washington, July 4th, 1813 ; 
all of which are interesting ; but as I have not his 
answers, it is not necessary to publish them. His 
message to the legislature, when Governor, is now 
before me, and is dated Ealeigh, Nov. 20th, 1821. 
The, condition of the country, and the sentiments 
of the community at large, in regard to legislative 
measures for the improvement and welfare of the 
State, neither required nor admitted any thing of 
special interest to us ; but it bears throughout the 
impress of that sound practical common sense 
which characterized his whole life. He recognizes 
the vast importance of the Union, and urges upon 
all the necessity of cherishing that enlightened 
spirit of compromise in which it was formed. He 
adverted to the pressure in the monetary affairs of 
the country, but ascribed it principally to over- 
trading, and recommended no other measures for 
relief than general economy, and less of that 
excessive speculation, which he regarded as the 


main cause of the distress. The Supreme Court 
he regarded as of great importance, but doubted 
whether the mode prescribed by the law for 
appointing a "missive Judge," was strictly con- 
stitutional ; and with one or two minor alterations 
in the judiciary system, he suggested the propriety 
of authorising the superior Courts of law, when 
sitting as Courts of Equity, to send up to the 
Supreme Court certain causes at their discretion, 
as well as upon the affidavits of the parties litigant. 
He recommended that the Superior Courts should 
be separated from the Courts of Equity, for which 
he gave some very plausible common sense reasons, 
but suggested no material alterations in the County 
Courts, which he considered as well adapted to 
the wants of a free country. In regard to the 
criminal code, he proposed that the punishment 
of cropping should be commuted for something 
else, as a barbarous punishment, and as placing 
the subject of it beyond the hope of reform, which 
should always be the object where life was spared. 
He recommended in strong terms the organization 
of the militia, as the only safe reliance for the 
defence of the country ; and notwithstanding 
the deep discouragements which rested upon the 
public mind, occasioned by previous failures, and 
misapplication of funds, he recommended a prudent, 
steady and progressive system of internal improve- 

Such a man's deeds are his best monument, and 
should not be forgotten. Throughout the whole of 
his long and consistent life, he appears to have 


been one of the most judicious, upright and 
patriotic men of his day, and a country should 
always give honor to whom honor is due. 

Legislative Enactments against the Tories. 

The civil war may be considered as having fairly 
commenced with the battle on Mooris creek ; and 
it continued with more or less violence until inde- 
pendence was obtained. Some eighteen months or 
more previous to the Declaration, the people of 
North Carolina, as is well known, in common with 
those of the other Colonies, had resolved to resist 
the oppressions of the mother country, though they 
were not yet prepared to declare themselves inde- 
pendent ; and they adopted such measures for carry- 
ing their resolutions into effect as their circumstances 
seemed to require. The constituted authorities, 
conventions and congresses, the members of which 
had been appointed by a vote of the people, and 
clothed with ample power for all the purposes of 
their appointment, passed strong resolutions at 
almost every meeting against those who should, in 
any way, or by any means, favor the cause of Great 
Britain ; but nothing more was done, because noth- 
ing more was then necessary. The movements of 
the Tory army, however, and the battle on Morris 
creek taught them that their domestic enemies were 
more numerous than they had supposed, and 
that some stronger measures than arguments and 
" Kesolves" must be adopted. It was now mani- 


fest that nothing but the most determined and 
energetic course could be of any avail, and they 
were sufficiently encouraged by the results of the 
battle to take such a course ; nor does it appear 
that any reluctance or hesitancy in meeting their 
responsibilities, and the exigencies of the country, 
was manifested by any of these bodies. Accordingly, 
the Provincial Congress, which met at Halifax, 
April 4th, 1776, a few weeks after the battle at 
Moore's creek, passed, on the 13th of May, the fol- 
lowing Resolution, which, for the satisfaction of our 
readers, or many of them, we copy from the journal. 

" Resolved^ That any person, inhabitant of this 
colony, who shall hereafter take arms against 
America within the said colony, or shall give intel- 
ligence, or aid to the enemies thereof, and shall be 
convicted of the facts by vote of Congress, or by 
any judicial power, hereafter to be appointed, shall 
forfeit all his goods and chattels, lands and tene- 
ments, to the people of said colony, to be disposed 
of by the Congress, or other general representation 
thereof; and moreover be considered (when taken) 
as a prisoner of war, unless the sentence shall be 
mitigated, or pardoned by the Congress, or other 
general representation." 

This resolution sufficiently shows the spirit of the 
men who composed that body; but very few, if 
any, confiscations, we imagine, actually took place, 
until the State Constitution was adopted, and the 
machinery of civil government was put into more 
vigorous and complete operation. Like the prime 
movers in the reformation from Popery, the patriots 


of the day were carried much further by circum- 
stances than they had first intended, and were as 
much indebted to Providence, as to their own wis- 
dom and valor, for the success which crowned their 
efforts, and the constitutional freedom which they 

It was soon found that the great principles of 
liberty and of individual rights must be embodied 
in a written constitution which would unite and 
bind together the entire community and in which 
these fundamental principles should be clearly de- 
fined. Such a constitution was adopted by the 
convention which met in Halifax, November 12th, 
1776, and among the objects which first claimed 
their attention was the disaffected portion of the 
community, or those who, from whatever motives 
were opposed to the independence of the country ; 
for if anything was done to suppress them by force 
of arms, or to punish them for the resistance already 
made, reason and humanity, as well as a "decent 
respect for the opinions of mankind," required that 
it should be done in conformity with established 
laws, and by the authority of those who were duly 
invested with executive powers. This congress had 
much of its time occupied in disposing of the priso- 
ners taken at Moore's creek, and in adopting some 
further regulations for the suppression of the loyal- 
ists ; but more authoritative enactments belonged to 
future meetings of the constitutional assembly. 

The above extract contains the substance of all 
the legislation on this subject, but the reader will 
find in the Appendix, an Act of the first legislature ; 


that met under the constitution ; and it is given at 
the request of some highly respected friends in 
the Scotch region. To the educated and literary men 
of the country these things may be familiar ; but 
they are not so to the community at large. In some 
parts of the country, there appears to be, even to 
this day, considerable misapprehension in regard to 
the treatment of the Tories, and it is, therefore, desi- 
rable that all the facts should be distinctly known. 

Tories in Disguise. 

The British government had violated the char- 
tered rights on which the colonies were formed ; 
they had, in some instances, even taken away or 
revoked our charters; thus throwing us out of their 
protection, and had then sent their armies to enforce 
these arbitrary measures. The people had formed 
a government for themselves as they had a right 
to do under these circumstances, and had resolved 
to stand up in their own defence. If a minority 
thought proper, or felt in conscience bound to op- 
pose this government, they could do so, but they 
must take the consequences. If the people of this 
land, after the treatment they had received and the 
extremity to which they had been reduced by the 
mother country, had a right to establish a free and 
independent government for themselves, they cer- 
tainly had a right to adopt whatever measures were 
necessary to maintain it. According to all the pre- 
cedents set by civilized nations, they had a right to 
define treason against the State, and to make that 


treason, when in the first degree, punishable by 
death. They had a right to confiscate the pro- 
perty of traitors and to banish all dangerous or 
suspected persons from the country. The British, 
when they got possession of South Carolina and 
whenever they had the country under their control, 
hung or executed some, banished others and con- 
fiscated their property. Without such a power no 
civil government can be maintained ; and whatever 
hardships may attend it, the power must be exerted 
to the full extent when it becomes necessary. 

They had some professed friends but enemies at 
heart, who were more dangerous than any others, 
and required their utmost vigilance. To guard 
against impositions of this kind as much as possible, 
all who were put in trust of any kind were, at first, 
required to take an oath that they would be true to 
the country ; and the Provincial Congress drew up a 
test which had to be signed by all the members of 
that body, and every one who held any ofhce either 
civil or military. Some refused to subscribe the 
test, or sign the association, and were thus made to 
stand forth in their true character. Of this number, 
Thomas McNight, a member of the congress from 
Currituck county was one ; and there were others in 
different departments. Sometimes when detected, 
they confessed their fault and promised fidelity for 
the future. John Coulson, the same probably who 
afterwards, in the fall of 1780, headed an embodi- 
ment of Tories on the Pedee, for the purpose of join- 
ing the British at Cheraw, lived in Anson county, 
and was a man of great influence in that region. 


When it became known that he was taking an active 
part against the independence of his country, he was 
brought to the bar of the house and required to make 
confession, or be sent to prison. The Congress met 
at Hillsboro', August 20, 1775; and on the fol- 
lowing day appointed a committee to enquire into 
and report on his case. Next morning the commit- 
tee reported the following, which we copy from 
Jones' Defence, as the confession and promise which 
he should be required to subscribe: — 

" I, John Coulson, do from the fullest conviction 
solemnly and sincerely declare, that I have been 
pursuing measures destructive of the liberties of 
America in general, and highly injurious to the 
peace of this colony ; and, truly conscious of the 
heniousness of my guilt, do now publicly confess the 
same, and do solemnly and sincerely promise, that I 
will for the future support and defend, to the utmost 
of my power, the constitutional rights and liberties 
of America ; and, in order to make atonement for my 
past guilt, that I will make use of every effort in my 
power to reclaim those persons whom I have seduced 
from their duty, and also induce all other persons 
over whom I have influence to aid, support, and de- 
fend the just rights of America. In witness whereof, 
I have hereunto set my hand this the 22d day of 
August, 1775." 

"John Coulson." 

There were many others of a similar kind; but 
this may serve as a specimen of the whole. At 
this period, when very few were prepared for a final 
separation from Great Britain, and when the two 


parties had not yet become embittered at each other, 
some such cases were to be expected, and required 
both firmness and prudence on the part of the civil 

We are on our guard against an avowed enemy, 
and can even respect him if he is honorable in his 
bearing ; but " a spy in the camp" is always an 
odious as well as a dangerous character ; and when- 
ever such have been detected, no matter in what 
cause or under what circumstances, they have been 
dealt with by a summary process, and without 
much commiseration. Farquard Campbell and 
Thomas Rutherford, of Cumberland, were both 
gentlemen of wealth, intelligence and high standing 
in their own county, who managed to keep their 
place in the counsels of the State until the adoption 
of the Constitution, and yet were all the time hold- 
ing correspondence with the enemy. Whether this 
was done of their own accord, or by the suggestion 
of Governor Martin, is not known ; but they had 
adroitness enough to play a false game for two 
years without detection, or without doing anything 
by which the fact could be proved. Governor 
Swaim says, " They were members of the first 
provincial convention, which met at Newberne, on 
the 25th of August, 1774, and appointed William 
Hooper, Joseph Hews and Richard Caswell dele- 
gates to the first Continental Congress. They were 
members of the second Provincial Convention 
which met at the same place. On the 3d of April, 
1775, they both signed the article of American 
Association, and united in the vote denouncing the 


equivocal conduct of Thomas McMght, a member 
from Currietuck, in withholding his signature, and 
in holding him up " as the proper object of con- 
tempt to this continent." They were members of 
the first Provincial Congress in August, 1775, at 
Hillsboro', and of the second, which met at Halifax, 
4th April, 1776. On the 12th of that month, they 
voted for the Resolution instructing our delegates 
in the Continental Congress, to declare indepen- 
dence. Before the meeting of the third Provincial 
Congress, they were both in confinement at Hali- 
fax, as prisoners of war." Campbell, who was evi- 
dently the shrewder and more prominent one of the 
two, appears to have been a man who could keep 
his countenance under all circumstances, and had a 
great tact for joking or bantering off' any charge 
that was brought against him. When the Congress 
met in Hillsboro', April 4, 1776, the House was 
surprised by receiving a letter from Mr. Biggleston, 
the Governor's Secretary, asking the favor of the 
Congress to give a safe conduct to his Excellency's 
coach and horses to the house of Farquard Camp- 
bell, in Cumberland. On receiving this letter, the 
President laid it before the Congress, and Farquard 
rose in his seat, and said, " he was amazed that Mr. 
Biggleston should have made such a proposal with- 
out his privity or consent, and implored the House 
not to make such a disposition of the coach and 

In the course of the ensuing summer, he was 
taken by Colonel Folsome, at his own house, and 
carried a prisoner to Halifax, where he lay for a 


long time in confinement. When taken prisoner, 
and while on the way to Halifax, he showed the 
most perfect nonchalance, or unconcern about the 
consequences ; but was as free and jocose as any of 
them. Mounted on a fine-spirited horse, he would 
frequently gallop on some distance before, and then, 
turning round, banter them for a race, or call upon 
them to " Come on, come on ! Why so lazy and 
dilatory !" These things seem to give us a little 
insight into his character, and to disclose the secret 
of that long and successful game which he played 
in the councils of the State. It is very difficult for 
any man, especially in such a time, to tell a wilful 
lie, and make others believe that he is telling the 
truth ; or to act a false part and make discerning 
men believe that he is sincere ; but some have a 
much better tact for such an ambidextrous game 
than others. What were Campbell's motives for 
pursuing such a course, would perhaps be difficult 
to ascertain, nor is it of much importance ; but it 
appears from the records, that, in course of the next 
year, he was made to feel the force of the Confisca- 
tion Act. 

The Act of Assembly, already referred to, was 
little more than a modification and extension of the 
resolution which had been passed by the Provincial 
Congress, but it was felt perhaps to be more author- 
itative, and was more generally enforced. The 
Congress had imprisoned many and had declared 
the estates of some confiscated, but only of the most 
active and prominent among the Tories. As the 
civil war had been now raging for more than a 


year, many had been put to death, and as many had 
been plundered of their property and brought to 
the whipping-post ; but not by their orders. The 
Provincial Congress and all the leading Whigs, 
showed as much regard to justice and humanity as 
could be shown in the existing circumstances ; but 
they had not sufficient authority or power to control 
the entire community. Many cruelties were prac- 
tised by unprincipled or enraged, and irresponsible 
companies and individuals, which all wise and good 
men regretted. Such things were unavoidable in a 
disordered state of society, and especially when the 
passions of men were so intensely excited. 

That the Provincial Congress, representing the 
sentiments and feelings of the community at large, 
were humane and generous towards that class of the 
population who had taken up arms against the 
country and were now in their power, appears from 
their uniform professions and from the measures 
which they adopted, They issued a Manifesto, in 
which they express most seriously, their pity for 
the deluded men who had taken part with our 
enemies, and their desire that these men might soon 
be convinced of their error, and return to the path 
of duty. They regret, unfeignedly, the necessity 
they were under of keeping any of them in confine- 
ment, and of sending some of them where they 
would not be so dangerous to the country. They 
manifested a compassionate regard for the wel- 
fare of their families, especially such of them as 
were left in indigent circumstances ; and after re- 
commending them to the humanity and kindness 


of all who had it in their power to give relief, they 
conclude in the following language, which is alike 
creditable to their good sense and their feelings of 
generosity. "May the humanity and compassion 
which mark the cause we are engaged in, influence 
them to such a conduct as may call forth our ut- 
most tenderness to their friends whom we have in 
our power. Much depends upon the future de- 
meanor of the friends of the Insurgents who are 
left among us, as to the treatment our prisoners may 
experience. Let them consider these as hostages 
for their own good behaviour ; and by their own 
merits make kind offices to their friends a tribute of 
duty as well as humanity from us, who have them 
in our power." 

Treatment of Tories. 

The prisoners who were taken to Halifax were 
treated with lenity and kindness. Some of them 
appear to have been sent home in a short time with- 
out any hard restrictions or conditions. Some were 
bound in a penal bond for their good behaviour and 
then permitted to return home. Others were placed, 
for a time, under the care of certain Whig friends 
in different parts of the country, generally at a dis- 
tance from the place of their residence; and imme- 
diately after the Congress met, the most important 
of them were put on their parole of honor. Gen. 
McDonald, Alan McDonald, and some others, were 
permitted to enjoy their liberty within certain limits, 
and on condition that they would not say nor do 


anything to favor the enemy, for which the Con- 
gress merely took their word and honor. When 
their property was confiscated, provision was made 
for their families and the way was left open for their 
return to the path of duty. When the State troops 
went into the Scotch region, after the battle of 
Moore's Creek, they conducted themselves, in the 
main, with moderation and propriety ; and, in proof of 
this, we shall give only a single instance. After the 
battle, Colonel Caswell marched through the country, 
or some part of it, with his regiment and, on Sab- 
bath morning, came to Barbacue church. The Eev. 
John McLeod was either the pastor of the church 
or was supplying the pulpit for that day. During 
the prayer before sermon the people heard the lum- 
bering of the wagons at a distance, as they descend- 
ed the hill on the north side of the creek ; and from 
the emotions of the speaker, it was supposed he 
heard them too. McLeod was a Tory, and as he, 
like every body else, seemed to understand at once 
what the noise meant, this will account for his emo- 
tion. By the close of the sermon the army had 
arrived, and the Eev. John McLeod, Hector McLean 
and some others were arrested and sent off as pris- 
oners to Halifax. Gilbert Clarke, one of the elders 
and one of Foote's " little ministers of Barbacue," 
was a Whig and commanded a company of militia 
in that district. He immediately collected his com- 
pany and followed Caswell ; but for what purpose 
or how long he continued with him is not known 
to the writer. The Eev. John McLeod soon 
returned from Halifax and sailed for Scotland ; but 


as lie was never heard of again, it was supposed that 
the vessel and all on board perished on the "high 
seas." He had been only a short time in this coun- 
try, and that accounts for his Toryism. The few 
preachers they had, being all Tories, left the country 
except the Bev. James Campbell, who was such a 
strong Whig that he would not even baptize the 
children of Tories. On this expedition Colonel 
Caswell kept his men from insulting the persons or 
plundering the property of Tories, and in that 
region the name of Caswell is respected to this day. 
If all the Whig party, or all who went into that 
region with arms in their hands, had followed the 
example of Caswell and obeyed the orders of the 
Congress, a great amount of unnecessary suffering 
and crime would have been prevented ; but indi- 
viduals and irresponsible companies, who acted 
without any special authority, seemed to think that, 
because the Highlanders had risen in arms against 
the country, and had been vanquished, they were at 
liberty to insult them, plunder them and trample 
upon them as they pleased. In this way a great 
many cruelties and outrages on decency were prac- 
tised which were too disgusting to appear on the 
pages of history, and we pass them over with the 
names of the actors, leaving them to the imagination 
of the reader, but assuring him that when he has 
given his imagination full play he will hardly go 
beyond the reality. The Congress and all the better 
part of the Whig community deplored these things ; 
but as they were beyond their control, in such a 
lawless and disordered state of society, they were 


not to be blamed or held responsible for them. 
The Tories were not slow to retaliate, and in one 
sense, they did right, for it is a universal law of 
nature to protect itself. The worm on which you 
tread will writhe under your foot ; the serpent will 
coil round and strike its fangs into the instrument 
by which it is crushed ; and no man of true courage 
and generosity, will blame another for defending 
his life and property from violence. The Tories 
had not the organization of the Whigs, nor did 
they have that order and confidence of success 
which arise from the love and the prospect of 
liberty ; but they were not much behind them in 
stratagem nor in acts of daring. 

The deplorable state of things which existed in 
that region for some months after the battle on 
Moore's Creek, had not undergone much change for 
the better when enactments of higher authority and 
of wider range came to be enforced, and increased 
the troubles. The Council of Safety for this State, 
and that for Virginia, had held a joint meeting, in 
which it was agreed that all suspected persons 
should be disarmed ; and the act of assembly, with 
its oath of abjuration, and all its requisitions, must 
be enforced. If they intended to stand by their 
Declaration of Independence, and maintain the free 
government which they had instituted, all dangerous 
persons must be banished from the country, or put 
in such a condition that they could make no effectual 
resistance. Whatever irregularities and atrocities 
were committed by individuals or small parties, 
regardless of law and authority, should be put down 


to the account of the anarchy which prevailed in 
this revolutionary state of things ; but such measures 
must be adopted and carried out as were necessary 
for the defence of the country and the success of the 

A few of those who had very little scruple of 
conscience about anything, and who would comply 
with any requisitions to keep their necks out of the 
halter, or save their little property, submitted, and 
took the oath; but, with these exceptions, they 
utterly refused, because it was in direct opposition 
to the oath which they had taken to the king. Some 
fled to the North, and some to the South, where 
they joined the British army ; but the greater part 
of them fled from their homes, and lay concealed in 
the swamps, leaving the Whigs to take whatever 
fines or taxes they wanted out of their property, 
and some of them were not very scrupulous as to 
quantity. We give the following as a very mode- 
rate sample of the manner in which the sheriffs or 
county officers — the collectors of tax — proceeded 
when collecting the taxes, even from men of 
character and property. Kenneth Black, who was 
a man in good circumstances, and of much respec- 
tability in his neighborhood, lived on the place 
now owned by Laughlin McKinnon, on the Mor- 
gantown Road, in Moore county, and a short 
distance from McKinnon's present dwelling. In 
the fall of 1778, Malcom Monro and Neill McCranie 
came to collect the taxes for the county ; but Black, 
like a true loyalist, refused to pay, and said that 
the taxes belonged to the king. After a little 


altercation, with some harsh words, Monro and 
McCranie left the house, and returning in the 
evening before sunset, with Captain Bailey's com- 
pany of horsemen, took a negro man, a stud horse, 
and a good deal of other property, amounting in all 
to seven or eight hundred dollars. Black was not 
now at home, but was returning, when his daughter 
Margaret met him, and informed him of what was 
doing. He then kept out of the way, and shewed 
no disposition to make resistance. The negro, it 
is said, was afterwards recovered, and perhaps the 
horse, but not the other property. If such was the 
course of procedure with men of Black's character 
and standing, we may suppose it was worse with 
men of less property and influence in the com- 
munity. During this period the Scotch complained 
bitterly of such military officers as Alston, Seals, 
Crump, Coxe, Hadly, Fletcher, Jennings, Pember- 
ton, and others, for carrying away their bacon, 
grain and stock of every description, professedly 
for the American army, but without making com- 
pensation, or even giving a certificate, and thus 
leaving their families in a destitute and suffering 
condition. We presume that these officers thought 
they were taking the most effectual way to accom- 
plish their object, which was 10 drive this dangerous 
portion of the population out of the country, or 
reduce them to such a state, of submission that they 
would cause no further trouble. 



From the time the Act of Assembly took effect, 
which, was in the summer of 1777, until the 
summer of 1779, about two years, there was com- 
parative peace and security. There were occasion- 
ally individual acts of cruelty, depredations or 
house burning, and some acts of oppression by 
petty officers, both civil and military ; but these were 
small matters in comparison with what had preceded 
and what followed. In the spring or summer of 
this year, Hector McNeil and Archibald McDougal 
returned from the British army, where they had 
been for two or three years ; and, as the British 
were now meditating another desperate effort for the 
subjugation of South and North Carolina, they 
had, no doubt, been thus sent back a little in ad- 
vance to exert an influence on their countrymen 
and prepare them for the coming struggle. They 
were quite enthusiastic and gave the most glowing 
accounts of the British army and its officers. They 
said the British had money at command to any 
amount ; that they would be certain to conquer the 
country ; and that the Scotch would be handsomely 
rewarded if found on the King's side. Then why 

* These little conflicts and atrocities among the Scotch were 
communicated to me, chiefly by Dr. Smith, and some others 
in th it region. 


should they any longer submit to such injustice and 
tyranny, insult and oppression ? Thus excited, they 
began again gradually to rise and embody ; and 
from that time until the close of the war, the country 
presented a terrible scene of bloodshed, devastation 
and wretchedness. 

As the Tories began to rise and form into small 
parties, the Whigs began to rally for their suppres- 
sion, and various little conflicts ensued, which were 
attended with success, sometimes on one side and 
sometimes on the other, but gradually increased in 
frequency and magnitude until the last. Captain 
Fletcher, from Fayetteville, with about twenty -five 
men, met a much larger body of Tories, who are 
said to have been commanded by Colonel Fanning, 
at Legat's now Davis' Bridge, on Eockfish. Fletcher 
gave them one fire 'and retreated. "Big" Daniel 
Shaw, a Whig, was wounded in the shoulder. 
Daniel Campbell, a Tory, was mortally wounded and 
died on the third day. He had been a Lieutenant 
in the British army ; and having been taken prisoner 
and exchanged, had joined this second rising of the 
loyalists now in its incipient stage. This is all that 
I have been able to learn, says Doctor Smith, as to 
the results of the skirmish on Eockfish, unless it 
gave rise to the unfortunate rencounter or "meet- 
ing," between Fletcher and Colonel Armstrong 
which took place soon after. 

The real cause of the difference between them 

is not well known to the writer, nor is it a matter 

of much consequence at the present day. Some 

say, that Fletcher having thus retreated, Armstrong 



accused him of cowardice, and Fletcher sent him a 
challenge ; but others say that Fletcher was Com- 
missary, and that the men complained to Colonel 
Armstrong of the provisions furnished; that Col. 
Armstrong mentioned these complaints to Fletcher, 
who took offence, and sent him the challenge ; that 
Armstrong remonstrated with him, and told him 
that he himself had nothing against him ; that in 
thus making known to him the complaints of the 
men, he was only acting in his official capacity, as 
he was in duty bound to do, and that he intended 
no personal offence ; but Fletcher would not be re- 
conciled. Armstrong went home greatly distressed, 
but endeavored to keep it concealed. His wife, 
Janet, however, who was a daughter of Farquard 
Campbell, perceived that something was troubling 
him very much, and kept insisting on him to let 
her know what it was, until he ultimately told her. 
She hooted at him, and said, " Fight him — yes, fight 
him, and kill him, too." Having made every ex- 
planation and acknowledgment, as he thought, 
which he could make without losing his influence 
as an officer, and incurring the reproach of the com- 
munity, he finally accepted the challenge. At the 
first shot he reserved his fire, and then renewed his 
proposals for reconciliation; but Fletcher refused. 
When ready for the second fire, Armstrong said, 
"Now, Fletcher, I will kill you ;" and so he did. At 
the next fire, Fletcher fell; and Armstrong was 
greatly distressed that he had thus been driven to 
the necessity, contrary to his conscience and all his 


better feelings, of taking the life of a brother officer, 
and perhaps, until then, an intimate friend. 

I have related this affair for two reasons : it is a 
sad instance, among many others, of that false sense 
of honor which military men, and even many 
others, are so apt to cherish. If the account which 
I received and have given above, be the correct 
one, Fletcher seems to have been, like many others, 
too sensitive in regard to his honor. We pass no 
censure on him, or any one in particular; but it is 
against the practice that we inveigh, and adduce 
the instances which occur, as illustrations. The 
case also illustrates the spirit of chivalry or ' ' heroic 
defence of life and honor" which then peculiarly 
characterised the higher order of the Scotch. Far- 
quard Campbell is said to have belonged to the stock 
of the nobility in Scotland ; and his daughter seems 
to have possessed the spirit of her rank to such a 
degree, that she could never think of having it said 
that her husband had refused a challenge. 

"As the difficulties increased, many Whigs re- 
moved their families to places of more security, and 
left them for a time. Captain Travis, who had mar- 
ried a daughter of old Thomas Hadley, took his 
family into Wake county, and Andrew Beard, a 
noted murderer, as the Scotch call him, drove the 
wagon. When Travis and Beard were returning 
with their wagons for another load, Col. Duncan 
Eay, who had gone over the river with about twenty 
men in search of Beard, met them at Sproul's ferry, 
and Duncan Ferguson, one of Bay's men, shot down 
Beard on the spot. As soon as he could reload, he 


was about to shoot Travis also ; but he sprang up 
and seizing Col. Ray behind and around the body, 
held him between himself and Ferguson, all the time 
begging Eay for his life. The Colonel yielded ; but 
took him and Sproal, with all his family, prisoners. 
Sproal's women, children and negroes returned home 
next morning; but he and Travis were sent as 
prisoners to Wilmington. They were exchanged, 
in time ; and Travis afterwards acted as commissary ; 
but was accused of altering tickets. On this or some 
other charge, he was apprehended and put under 
guard in Fayetteville ; but, pretending to be drunk 
and asleep, the guard neglected him, when he es- 
caped through a window and fled to Nova Scotia." 

" Near three hundred men, under Colonel Peter 
Robison, of Bladen county, in passing through 
the country had halted at Stuart's, now McPher- 
son's mill creek, to take breakfast, when Colonel 
McNeill, with all his force, came upon them so 
suddenly, that they had no time to rally, and were 
scattered forthwith. How many, if any of the Whigs 
were killed, I have not learned; but John Turner 
and Daniel Campbell, two of McNeill's men were 
killed on the ground; and Dougald McFarland, 
another of the Tories, was, soon after, found dead 
near the place. Matthew Watson, a Tory, took 
young Archibald McKizic by surprise and held him 
a prisoner; and one story is that, being an acquaint- 
ance, and knowing that Turner, a mulatto, would 
kill him on sight, he gave him a chance to escape ; 
but another, and probably the true account is, that 
Watson brought him up into the crowd, and, that 


McKizic, still sitting on his horse, and no disposal 
having been yet made of him, on seeing an oppor- 
tunity, stuck the spurs into his horse and dashed 
down the hill at full speed, the balls whizzing about 
his head all the time, crossed the creek, and when 
he had ascended to the top of the opposite hill, he 
stopped a moment, turned round and, waving his 
hat over his head, gave the whoop of defiance, and 
then cantered off at his leisure." 

The following communication from Mr. William 
McMillen, for which he has my grateful acknow- 
ledgments, will be read with interest, and therefore 
we give it entire. The facts detailed belonged to 
different periods of the war ; but as they are isolated 
or unconnected with any prominent transaction, we 
cannot do better than to publish them all together. 
He gives the names of those from whom he received 
the facts, which was the proper method ; and I 
should have been glad to have responsible names 
for all the facts contained under this head, but could 
not have it so in every case. He intended to fur- 
nish mere memoranda; but he has related every- 
thing with so much perspicuity that I shall copy 
his language, with some merely verbal corrections. 
In a letter to a gentlemen in that region, who has 
furnished me with so many facts, and through 
whose agency these were procured, he says, " The 
enclosed notes have been hastily written, and I have 
not time to revise or copy them. Should you find 
them of any value in forming materials for the pur- 
pose you mentioned, they are at your service. I 


am sorry that I could not have furnished them 
sooner ; but I have been so much engaged since I 
saw you that I have not found it convenient to 
attend to the matter, until I am kept within doors 
to-day by the effects of a cold. Should they con- 
tribute, in any degree, to promote a greater regard 
and appreciation for the blessings resulting from 
law and order, and for the morals and intelligence 
of the community in our day, when contrasted 
with that awful period, I shall be amply compen- 
sated for the loss of the few hours devoted to them. 

Archbald McLean, Informant. — "During the 
war I climbed that tree," pointing to a large Poplar, 
" to watch the Hadleys, having run off on their 
approach to my father's house ; you will observe 
that the branches at the top spread out, which was 
occasioned by my breaking off the top at that time, 
as I saw them taking away all our horses, three in 
number. Those Hadleys, with a few others, if they 
could only hear of a Scotchman having anything valu- 
able, from a good negro down to a cooking pot, that, 
according to their moral code, constituted a right to 
it. This state of things continuing for a length of 
time, some of those who were lying out in the 
islands of the swamp, below Flea Hill, formed the 
plan of taking them by surprise at night, and of 
stopping their depredations. They were unsuccess- 
ful, as the objects of their pursuit were probably 
out on a plundering expedition; but the aged 
father was found, shot down, and their vengeance 
further wreaked by running a sword through his 


body for fear that life was not extinct. The father 
was regarded as the recipient of stolen property, 
and furthermore, that he was, to some extent, re- 
sponsible for the conduct of his sons, who in this 
matter at least, reflected his will. As ' murder will 
out,' the young Hadleys having ultimately learned 
that some individuals of their neighborhood were 
implicated in the death of their father, on a certain 
occasion, some time after the close of the war, they 
procured some friends and came to my father's 
house at night, where a small party were collected 
at a cotton picking. They rushed suddenly into the 
house, and attempted to shoot down, in the crowd, 
two men whom they suspected. The first one, 
whom one of the Hadleys attempted to shoot, was 
near enough to seize the muzzle of the gun, and as 
it was being fired, to change the direction of the 
charge, which seriously lacerated the hand of one 
of his brothers, and also passed through the skirt of 
my hunting shirt, but fortunately without injuring 
my body. One or two other shots were fired at 
the other suspected person ; but as the last one was 
discharged, he, being a short distance from the 
house, luckily stumbled on a sitting hen and fell ; 
otherwise, it is supposed, that his life would have 
been seriously endangered. 

" The assailants immediately dispersed to attend to 
the wounded man; and, as soon as practicable, a 
party of us procured our horses and guns, and made 
all possible speed for the causeway near Flea Hill, 
where we expected they would cross the swamp on 
their return home. There we arranged ourselves in 


ambuscade; but we afterwards learned that they 
crossed at a point much further south and thus es- 

" Would you really have shot any of the party," 
enquired I, " if they had approached ?" 

"I never have been more anxious to shoot an old 
buck, in good season, than I was on that occasion, to do 
so ; but I afterwards had the pleasure of seeing one 
of the Hadleys cropped on a conviction of stealing. 
Having formed such a habit of it during the war, he 
could not desist after the establishment of law and 
order until arrested by the strong arm of the law. 

" A few years ago, some large beach-trees in the 
islands of the swamp, exhibited names and dates 
which, it is said, were inscribed by those lying out 
during that awful period." 

Colin McEae, Esq., Informant and still living : — 
" My father lived on Deep river — my mother's 
maiden name was Burke. When the governor of 
that name was taken prisoner at Hillsboro', by Fan- 
ning and his company, they stopped at our house 
at night on their way to Wilmington. The Governor 
was put into an additional apartment at the end of 
the house, and there closely guarded. Our bag of 
meal was seized and cooked immediately ; and hav- 
ing been previously robbed, my mother had no bed 
clothes except one cotton sheet which was carefully 
wrapped round my infant brother John, by his 
mother's side. One of the company seized hold of 
the corner of this sheet and continued to jerk and 
shake it until the infant rolled out on the naked 


floor. By way of retaliation, my mother made some 
attempt before day to let her namesake, the Governor, 
escape ; but without success." 

" Where was your father then ?" 

" My father ! why he was concealed in some swamp, 
and had made the best crop that year that he ever 
made while at that place, by cultivating it altogether 
at night, when his life would not be endangered, as 
during the day." 

My Mother, Informant — "My father had been 
lying out for a long time, I was large enough to go 
and bring him victuals or leave it where he could 
find it. Early of a morning I was engaged in 
baking bread on a board before the fire, when a 
large party of men on horseback came up, seized 
what bread was done, and even that which was par- 
tially so, cleared out our smokehouse, emptied out 
all our corn from the crib on their saddle blankets 
for their horses, and what they did not eat was ren- 
dered unfit for use, as it was spilled on the ground 
and soiled. "We had a few cows at home, two of 
which they killed. Thus we were left without a 
particle of food. My mother went in the afternoon 
three miles to an off place, where the principal 
part of our stock was, got some milk and made it 
into curd which the family ate. This occurred im- 
mediately after the battle of Guilford Court House. 
The cow pen referred to is about four miles south 
of Long Street Church. My father says he re- 
collects that a party came at night to his father's 
house, on Buckhorn Swamp, in Robison county, 


who stripped the house of every vestige of bed 
clothes, and destroyed even some large joints of 
reed which he and an older brother had brought 
home through childish curiosity. My grand father 
was ordered to surrender his money. He denied 
having any, when a blow was aimed at him, he still 
lying in his bed; but it was warded off by an 
acquaintance, a man by the name of Bone, who 
was one of the party. He was then seized and 
carried to Wilmington. After having been con- 
fined there a few days, and after having seen two 
prisoners shot, late of an evening, liberty was 
granted to himself and another to enjoy the air, 
with one or two persons to guard them. After en- 
joying the privilege a short time, he suddenly ran 
around the corner of a building and continued to 
run without being overtaken until he got out of 
view of the place. What became of the other he 
did not know ; but he made all possible haste 
towards home, where he arrived before daylight 
next morning, a distance of eighty miles. He 
received a piece of bread at the door of his own 
dwelling without waiting to enter, made for a place 
of concealment and never appeared publicly again 
until after the restoration of peace and order. 
Nearly all his cattle were driven off, and he was 
deprived of a saddle horse. Having heard of him 
afterwards, he got a friend to purchase him ; but he 
was immediately taken again and never recovered. 
"I recollect hearing the guns distinctly during the 
skirmish at Stuart's Creek on the north side of Big 
Kock Fish, Cambden road. On the evening of that 


clay, I and an older brother were near Buckhorn 
Swamp, when we discovered a man bareheaded, on 
horseback, who immediately started at full speed 
from us into the swamp on a causeway composed of a 
few poles placed lengthwise for the convenience of 
the cows. The swamp, at that point, was two or three 
hundred yards broad, and we could hear his horse 
blundering as he was making his way across. That 
was the only horse known to cross the place. On 
going to Stuart's mill afterwards, it was very disa- 
greeable, as several horses had been killed during 

Ellta "WiLKlNS, gave the following account of that 
battle. — " On the day previous, our party, of whom 
Peter Eobeson had the command, discovered the 
Tories on the west side of the Eaft and swamp. 
We hailed them, and mutual challenges were 
exchanged to cross the swamp, which was declined 
by both parties. That evening we arrived at 
Stuart's, where we remained for the night, having 
Ealph Barlow and another Tory prisoners. We 
killed two of Stuart's cattle for meat; and while 
some were preparing portions of it for travelling 
with, Barlow and the other prisoner were taken on 
the west side of the creek to be shot. Barlow re- 
quested time to offer his last prayer, which was 
granted with the proviso that it should be a short one. 
This ceremony being ended, the order had been given 
to ' fire,' when I simultaneously discovered at the top 
of the hill, two or three ' red caps,' and I shouted, 
1 Tories.' One man had actually snapped his piece 


at the prisoners, when they sprang forward, and 
made their escape in the confusion that ensued. 
Barlow, in his prodigious leap, broke the cords that 
bound his hands. He then escaped, by swimming 
through the mill pond, and died a few years ago at 
an advanced age, and regarded as a very worthy 
and highly respectable citizen. The Tories were 
commanded by a McNeill, and had nearly sur- 
rounded us except on the mill pond side. By 
concert we reserved our fire until they charged on 
us, when a few of us fired, and then tried to 
make our escape. Some undertook to cross the 
creek below the mill ; but, the banks being very 
steep, they were thrown from their horses. It was 
rather a running fight from there to a ford on 
Eock Fish, near the junction of the two streams. 
On crossing Eock Fish our scattered party was pur- 
sued by some of the Tories. Two or three of us 
concealed ourselves in the bushes near to each other, 
and immediately a mulatto approached us who held 
some office. When within a few paces of us, he 
fired at some one who was at a distance, on which 
one of our party rose and presented his gun. He 
cried for quarters ; but as he uttered the words, I 
saw a streak of fire pass beyond his body, as the 
charge passed through him, and he fell dead." 

There was at this time, in that part of the coun- 
try, a class of Whig officers, such as White, Hadley, 
Armstrong, Porterfield, and some others, who have 
been incidentally mentioned already, or some of 
them ; but of whom it may not be amiss to take a 


little farther notice. They had belonged to the 
North Carolina brigade, of continentals, but having 
been discharged from the service for reasons which 
will be explained presently, they had returned to 
their homes in that region. This brigade, which 
went north under the command of General Nash, 
appears to have been a very respectable one for 
numbers, and to have had its full compliment of 
officers ; but owing to the usual causes, such as de- 
sertion, disease, and battle, especially the battle of 
Germantown, it soon became very much reduced ; 
and as it could not be recruited immediately, it had 
to be remodelled. Hugh M'Donnell, whose manu- 
script journal is now before me, and who was pre- 
sent, an eye-witness of what he relates, tells us that 
on the morning of the battle at Germantown, which 
was fought October 4, 1777, one of the generals got 
so drunk that he failed entirely to perform the part 
assigned him by Washington, and this failure, be- 
sides the loss of the battle, caused General Nash to 
be killed, and his brigade to suffer more severely 
perhaps, than any other in the army. After the 
battle, he says, two of the officers, one from Vir- 
ginia and one from this State, were sent home in 
disgrace, and each with a wooden sword ; the one 
for cowardice, and the other for getting drunk ; but 
most of the officers in the North Carolina brigade, 
were brave men, and were discharged, as a pruden- 
tial measure, for the want of men to command. The 
remodelling of the brigade took place in May, 1778, 
and the number of regiments was reduced nearly 
one-half. Of these officers, he mentions only one 


who took umbrage and resigned his commission ; 
bat he, I think, was from S. Carolina, and had no 
connexion with the brigade from this state. Hugh 
M'Donnell, having returned temporarily to N. 
Carolina, on a visit to his friends, just when the 
country was in its greatest troubles, thus speaks of 
the supernumerary officers who had returned, and 
were serving their country at home. 

" These officers, after their return from the north, 
proved to be very useful in N. Carolina. They 
found the country in great confusion — the terms 
Whig and Tory running high among them, and, in 
many parts, robbing, plundering, stealing — mobs 
and murdering frequently taking place. They used 
their influence with all possible diligence, to bring 
the inhabitants to a better understanding, and in 
quelling or capturing the British and Tory compa- 
nies who were in gangs through the State. In this 
way they proved more useful to their own State 
than they could have been to the country at large 
had they been retained in the army." 

Old Thomas Hadley, who lived, if I mistake not, 
on the east side of the Cape Fear and not very far 
above the Fox Islands, had under his command, at 
least during the latter part of the war, a militia 
troop of light horse or mounted men, but I have 
not heard of his rendering any very efficient servi- 
ces. His son, Joshua Hadley, was first employed as 
Captain of a militia company to go in search of 
the " out layers," or those Scotch who fled to the 
swamps for concealment rather than submit to the 
requisitions of the Whig government; but when 


the continental brigade was formed, under the 
command of Gen. Nash, he joined it with his com- 
pany and went to the north, where he was in the 
battles of Brandy wine and Germantown. After the 
regiment to which he belonged was merged in 
another and he was discharged as a supernumerary, 
he returned to North Carolina and seemed to retain, 
not only his patriotism and devotion to the good of 
his country, but the habits of order and decorum 
which he had formed in the Continental army under 
Washington. Hugh McDonald, when at home in 
1781, again speaks of Hadley and the other 
supernumerary officers of that brigade, who had 
returned, as exerting a very good influence, both in 
fighting the hostile bands of British and Tories 
combined, who were so troublesome, and in sup- 
pressing, or at least restraining to a considerable 
extent, even on the part of the Whigs, the practice 
of plundering, house burning and assassination 
which had become so prevalent. According to tra- 
dition, Captain Hadley, with his little militia com- 
pany, was at the battle on Cane creek and was, in 
general, prompt to render any service he could when 
occasion required. John Hadley, though not an 
officer, or not one of any rank, is spoken of as hav- 
ing been an active Whig, and, on the whole, an 
honorable man. Simon Hadley had no regular 
command but headed a band of reckless men whom 
the Scotch represented as no better than robbers and 
cut-throats. Colonel Armstrong appears to have 
been a man of courage, firmness and honorable 
principles. Of the Porterfields I know very little, 


except that I have always heard them spoken of as 
men of undoubted courage, and as having been at 
the battle of Cambden in 1780, and of Eutaw in 
the fall of 1781, where one of them was killed. 
When a man fills any public office, especially in 
such a time as the Eevolutionary war, his name and 
character, and principles, become identified with the 
history of the country. 

Thomas Hadley. 

Early in the fall of 1781, Thomas Hadley was 
killed, and in rather a singular way by the Tories, 
to whom he had made himself obnoxious, the Scotch 
say, by his severities. He lived on the Cape Fear, 
opposite to the mouth of Carver's creek, and in what 
was then termed a " high roofed house," by which, 
I suppose, was meant a house with a steep roof and 
attic windows. About a dozen of Tories, being 
apprized that he was at home, having just returned 
from a tour of some kind, probably against their 
party, went there one night with a determination 
to take his life. The night was intensely dark ; 
but that may have been favorable to their design. 
If fortune does sometimes favor the brave, it is not 
always so ; for history abounds with facts to the con- 
trary; and when the brave do fall, apparently by 
chance, or by the hand of some miserable assassin, 
grave and important lessons are taught which we 
should not be slow to learn nor reluctant to practice. 

When the Tories surrounded his house, he barri- 
caded his doors in the best way he could, ran up 
stairs and, putting his head out at a window, called 


for Frank Cooley and Andrew Beard to bring up 
their men ; but this stratagem bad been practiced so 
often by both parties that it was now disregarded by 
the assailants. Cooley and Beard were not on the 
premises, with men to bring up ; or if they had been 
there, the Tories knew that they could elude them 
in the dark. In his circumstances it could hardly 
be expected to succeed, and, in this case, it proved 
his ruin. The Tories instead of being at all discon- 
certed, only felt assured that they had nothing to 
fear, and were more determined on entering the 
house, but while they were making preparations for 
this purpose, as Hadley kept his head out of the 
window, giving directions to Cooley and Beard how 
to proceed, a little Scotchman, by the name of 
McAlpin, took it into his head that he would shoot 
at the voice. Eaising his gun to the right position, 
and taking aim by the ear and not with the eye, 
when the gun fired, the ball struck Hadley about 
the lower jaw, and, passing diagonally through his 
head, lodged in some of the timbers above. A tuft 
of hair, carried by the ball, stuck in the edge of the 
hole where it entered the timbers, and remained 
there for many years. 

Hadley had four sons, of whom all escaped, under 
cover of the night, except one called Benjamin, or, 
familiarly Ben, who was probably the youngest. 
The Tories took him and carried him to Gray's 
pocosin, five or six miles off, where they stripped 
him, tied him to a tree on an island in the pocosin, 
which, from this circumstance, is still called Hadley 's 
island, and there they let the swarms of flies, mos- 


quitoes and insects of every kind prey upon him till 
they were satisfied. 

After Hadley's death, Andrew Beard moved up 
to Sproal's ferry, at the mouth of lower Little river, 
but soon met a similar fate. When getting corn out 
of his crib one day, to feed his horse, he saw a com- 
pany of Tories coming towards the house ; and, while 
they were approaching, he came out of the crib, 
calling on his men to come up, and holding a large 
corncob in each hand. Whether this was done with 
the intention of deceiving his enemies or not, was 
never known; but it was an unfortunate circum- 
stance ; for the Tories supposing them to be pistols, 
fired on him, and several balls having entered his 
body, he fell dead on the spot. 

Samuel Divinnie & Co. 

Amid all the changes which have been in most 
of the other States by the ingress of foreigners, and 
by the spirit of enterprise on the part of the Ame- 
rican population, so little change of this kind has 
been made in North Carolina, and so peculiar were 
the circumstances of the country during the war of 
the revolution, that almost every family, at the pre- 
sent day, feels an interest on the one side or the 
other, in the incidents of that period ; and for this 
reason, if not for its intrinsic importance, everything 
is worth recording. 

Among those who were misled for the want of 
better information, and were thrown on the wrong 
side by honest but unwarranted scruples of con- 


science, were Samuel Divinnie, and three brothers 
by the name of Field, William, Jeremiah, and 
Eobert, with a few others who were under their 
influence. They had been engaged in the Eegula- 
tion battle, and, having taken the oath of allegiance 
after their discomfiture, they were Tories or 
Eoyalists during the war. After the battle of 
Moore's creek, they were thought to be dangerous 
to the peace of the country, and being apprehended, 
were carried to Fredericktown, in Maryland, where 
they were kept as prisoners in a house called the 
"Tory House;" but Divinnie and Eobert Field 
were young men, uncommonly vigorous, active and 
resolute, and in a short time, made their escape. 
They had conducted, apparently, in such a frank 
and honorable way, that they had gained the con- 
fidence of all who were concerned in their custody, 
and the number of the guard was reduced to two or 
three men. As the house was deemed pretty secure, 
only one man, as keeper, usually paid any attention 
to them, and so much was he deluded, that he 
usually let them out through the day to walk in 
the porch and through the enclosure round the 
house. There is something in a frank, open-hearted 
and manly deportment, that is so congenial with the 
sympathies or better feelings of our nature, and 
which is, therefore, so hard to resist, that perhaps 
we ought not to blame the keeper in this case ; and 
so far as I could learn, he brought on himself no 
suspicion of betraying his trust, even through neg- 
ligence, or of any design to favor their escape. 
However, when he brought them out into the 


porch one morning as usual, two of them, Divinnie 
and Kobert Field, seized a couple of muskets which 
happened to be standing close bj, run him into the 
house at the point of the bayonet, locked him up 
there, and then, putting the key into their pocket, 
made their escape. The keeper and two or three 
others who were in the house as guards, all now 
locked up together as prisoners in place of those 
who had left, put their heads out of the window 
next to the town and cried, " Tories, Tories," at the 
very top of their voices, but no body seemed to 
pay any attention. Whether this cry had been 
raised so often, either in jest or. earnest, that the 
people had learned to disregard it, like those of 
whom we read in the fable, who had been so often 
deceived by the cry of " wolf, wolf," raised in sport, 
that they did not heed it, or whether they were in- 
different about the custody of these Tory prisoners, 
is not known, but these "jail birds," or these substi- 
tutes for those who were lately such, utterly impa- 
tient of the restraint, the "durance vile," under 
which they had been thus laid, now changed their 
note, and with all their might vociferated, "fire! 
fire ! fire I" This soon alarmed the whole town ; 
and the men came running down to see what was 
the matter. As soon as the cause of the alarm was 
known, the doors were pried open and the new 
occupants came out of their own free will, without 
waiting for a " writ of ejectment." Pursuit of the 
fugitives was instantly commenced ; but in vain ; for 
Field and Divinnie expecting to be pursued, had 
jumped into a field about a mile distant and kept 


themselves concealed in a thicket of bushes, where 
they saw their pursuers passing about in every 
direction, and some within a few rods of them. 
Here they remained until dark and then commenced 
their journey homeward. By travelling all night 
and keeping themselves concealed through the day, 
avoiding the public roads as much as possible and 
being guided in their course by the stars or by the 
bark on the trees, they finally reached their homes 
in safety ; but, so far as I have learned, I think they 
did not afterwards take a very active part for King 
George, nor give the country much more trouble 
during the war, either by joining the British army, 
or by uniting with any of the malignant parties of 
real or pretended royalists. 

Daniel Hicks. 

If darkness is one source of the sublime, it is 
also a cause of terror ; and there are few men who 
can meet danger unappalled, or encounter an enemy 
with entire self-possession, alone, and in a starless 
night. Whether this is owing to the general preva- 
lence of the notion that, as the night is the time in 
which, ghosts and other beings from the world of 
spirits visit these terrene abodes, some of them 
might have to be encountered, which would be too 
hard a contest for mortal strength ; or to the fact 
that as the senses and the reason can at such a time 
be of little avail, the imagination is of course excited, 
by the very law of self-preservation, into undue 
activity, we shall not undertake to determine ; but 


many a man who, in broad daylight, could march 
up to the cannon's mouth with a firm step, or move 
about cool and collected while a thousand deathful 
balls were flying round him, will quail in the night 
before dangers, real or imaginary, which, if he could 
see them as they really are, would only serve to 
call forth all his powers, intellectual and physical, 
into their most vigorous and well-directed efforts. 

The man who, when assailed by a band of ruffians, 
at the dead hour of a moonless and starless night, 
entirely alone in his little cabin with his wife and 
children, the helpless beings who are dearest to his 
heart, but who are dependent on his single arm for 
protection, can calmly and steadily act on the defen- 
sive, and repel the assailants when he can neither 
ascertain their number, nor their weapons, and 
modes of attack, is certainly a brave man ; nor can 
we readily conceive a better test of true manly 
courage. It must be remembered, however, that 
the assailants are as liable as the assailed to the 
undefined terrors of darkness ; and those who, avail- 
ing themselves of this supposed advantage, make 
the attack, become the victims of that mysterious 
dread which they hoped to inspire. During the 
last two years of the war, and in the region of which 
we are writing, such instances were often occurring; 
and of the many which still live in the traditions of 
the country, the following may be taken as a 

Daniel Hicks was a Whig and lived on the south- 
west corner of Richmond county. A number of 
Tories, having learned that he was at home and alone 


with his family, came there one night with the de- 
termination to take his life. When they snrrounded 
the house and made their demands upon him the 
painful fact could not be doubted that he must sub- 
mit to be tamely put to death, in cold blood, or sell 
his life as dearly as possible, and, in either case, his 
wife and children would be in the power of the 
wicked, whose tender mercies are cruel; but, like a 
man of true heroism and putting his trust in an arm 
of Omnipotence, in whose righteous cause he was 
engaged, he resolved to make the best defence in 
his power. Having locked the doors and made the 
best arrangements he could, at the moment, he kept 
himself concealed and told his wife not to open the 
door unless it became necessary in order to prevent 
them from breaking it down. Accordingly, when 
they demanded admittance, she mildly refused, tell- 
ing them that she could not admit them at that hour 
of the night, and requested them not to trouble her 
any farther; but when they got axes and were 
about to break it open she requested them not to 
break it and she would open it for them. During 
this time Hicks had remained silent and kept him- 
self where he could not be seen. His wife had been 
the only spokesman and they did not know that 
there was any body else in the house, except from 
the intelligence which they had received before they 
came. Having opened the door, when the foremost 
man entered and as soon as he had fairly got inside, 
Hicks shot him dead on the spot, and the rest be- 
came panic struck and gave back. This was a 
shock which they did not expect, and such an act, 


so deliberately and promptly done, made the im- 
pression on them that there must be more men in 
the house. The darkness aided their imagination, 
and, as the one who had been killed was their leader 
and the most courageous one among them, they 
would not venture to march over his dead body into 
the midst of that mysterious silence, but all fled 
with precipitation and never attempted again to 
assail his house. 

Frederick Smith. 

In the revolutionary war, especially towards the 
latter part of it, the small parties sometimes assumed 
each other's costume, or badges of distinction, for 
the purpose of practicing a ruse de guerre, a strata- 
gem of war, with greater success; and, when first 
tried, perhaps, it answered their purpose; but in 
other cases it proved injurious either to themselves 
or to others who became implicated without any 
fault on their part, of which the following may be 
taken as an illustration. 

From this cause, Frederick Smith, who lived in 
the north-east corner of Randolph county, on the 
waters of Stauken's, now called Stinking Quarter, 
got involved in a difficulty, which, if it should be 
a little amusing to the reader, was certainly not so 
to him. He was a quiet, inoffensive man, but was 
no fighting character, and not very shrewd or ener- 
getic. Having no fondness for " the confused noise 
of the warrior," nor for the sight of "garments 
rolled in blood," he had taken no part in the con- 


test, and was content that others should fight the 
battles of freedom and independence, if he could 
be permitted to remain in peace by his own fire- 
side, and enjoy his homely fare with his " better 
half," and the little Smiths that were growing up 
" like olive plants," around his table ; but if a " go- 
between is never an honorable character," his situa- 
tion is often a very unsafe one, and in such times 
when people generally felt that all their dearest in- 
terests were at stake, and when their strongest pas- 
sions were so highly excited, it was impossible, for 
one here and another there, to remain neutral, or to 
avoid the suspicions of both parties, and thus, in 
spite of all his good intentions and supposed inof- 
fensiveness, to become the unfortunate victim of one 
party or the other. 

The opposite parties in that region had so often 
assumed each other's distinctive badges that a man, 
especially one who had taken no part in the military 
operations of the day, when he met a company, 
unless he knew some of them personally or had 
some way of distinguishing them other than their 
cockades or party uniform, would be utterly at a 
loss; and such, unfortunately, was the case with 
Fred Smith. One of these parties came upon him 
unexpectedly one day in the neighborhood, and, 
not knowing him, asked him the usual question in 
such cases, "Who are you for?" and having to 
guess, he happened to guess wrong, naming the 
party opposite to the one into whose hands he had 
fallen. Without further proof or examination the 
order was given, " Hang him up," and it was in- 


stantly obeyed. As they did not design to kill him 
outright, but merely to teach him a salutary lesson, 
after letting him hang as long as they thought they 
could with safety they cut him down and let him go. 
Not long after, the other party met with him, in 
a different direction, and, as a matter of course, put 
to him the usual test question, " Who are you for?" 
Whether he had ever learned the "rule of contraries" 
we know not, but, as he had already suffered so 
much for saying that he belonged to such a party, he 
concluded that it could not be worse with him and 
named the other, that is, the one which had hung 
him before. As he had to guess again without any- 
thing to guide him, he unfortunately guessed wrong, 
and the order was given, " Plang him up," which 
was forthwith obeyed. With quite as much hu- 
manity as the others, after he had hung as long as 
they thought he would bear to hang without " giv- 
ing up the ghost," they cut him down and let him 
go, with an earnest but friendly admonition that if 
they ever found him again on the wrong side it 
would be the last of him. 

In process of time, some other company met with 
him, and not knowing him, asked him the same 
question, " Who are you for ?" but having suffered 
so much already from both the contending parties, 
and not wishing to run the risk of suffering the 
same again for a mere mistake of name, he conclu- 
ded to try another, and said he was for the devil. 
Whether this was a mere guess or certain truth we 
have not learned ; but they thought if that was the 
case the sooner he was put out of the way the bet- 


ter. So, making the limb of a tree answer for a 
gallows and a grape vine for a halter, they swung 
him off and immediately left him, thinking that 
they had started him on his journey to "that undis- 
covered country from whose bourne no traveller 
returns;" but one of them, more humane or more 
considerate than the rest, made an excuse to stay 
behind, and, as they were soon out of sight by de- 
scending the hill or by following a turn in the road, 
he cut him down before he was quite dead. 

General Harrington. 

"William Henry Harrington was made a Brigadier 
General at an early period during the war, and was 
most of his time, in the military service of the 
country, until independence was achieved, and peace 
established. His possessions, which were very ex- 
tensive, lay on the Pedee river, in the south-west 
quarter of Kichmond county, and there his wife 
and children, like the wives and children of most 
others who were engaged in the same cause, were 
left under the protection of a kind Providence. 
In the fall of 1780, Major McArther sent a detach- 
ment of British troops up from Cheraw to plunder 
his premises, and to destroy what they could not 
bring away. They tied the overseer's hands, and 
drove him before them as if he had been a criminal. 
They took all the negroes, or all they could get, 
horses and cattle, grain, provisions and every thing 
they could take with them. With such a quantity 
of plunder, they set off for head-quarters, in fine 


spirits ; but the Whigs of that region, among whom 
the news had been circulated, with great rapidity, 
embodied, pursued and overtook them below Cheraw 
on their way to Charleston ; and, by coming on 
them suddenly, encumbered as they were with so 
much booty, they easily overpowered them, recov- 
ered the property, and captured the whole convoy. 

"When General Harrington was informed of what 
had happened, he wrote to his wife, or sent her 
word, to remove with her children, servants, and 
whatever else she wished or could conveniently 
take with her, to her friends in Maryland, and to 
remain there until there could be more peace and 
security in this country. She set off accordingly, 
with no other guard than her servants, but was met 
at Mountain creek, in the the south-west of Moore 
county, by a body of Tories, under the command 
of John Leggett, who seized upon everything ; the 
servants, two or three wagons, carriages, or vehicles 
of some kind, and everything they could take, leav- 
ing her to return home on foot, or to shift for her- 
self in the best way she could. With the property 
of which they had so barbarously robbed the help- 
less and inoffensive, they proceeded towards the 
mountains, to what particular point was never 
known, but probably to some place where the}^ sup- 
posed their booty could be in safe keeping. The 
negroes, however, in a short time made their escape, 
and found their way home again ; but, as the horses 
and carriages could not do that, nothing else was 
recovered during the war. 

After independence was gained and peace estab- 


lished, General Harrington sued Leggett, who lived 
a very few miles south or south-west from Fayette- 
ville, and recovered the full amount of damages. 
To meet these damages, his land was put up at pub- 
lic sale, and General Harrington either bid it off 
himself, or had it bid off for him ; but Leggett's 
wife and daughters manifested so much distress at 
being thus turned out of house and home, and left 
friendless and penniless, to bear the taunts and re- 
proaches to which they would be everywhere sub- 
ject, on account of their attachment to the Tory 
interest, that General Harrington, with a great deal 
of generosity and kind feeling, just gave them back 
the land as a free gift. 

For these anecdotes, and one or two others, I am 
indebted to Col. Harrington, a son of the General, 
who, in a serene and cheerful old age, is living on 
his paternal estate in the south-east quarter of 
Richmond county, where, enjoying otium cum dig- 
nitate, he spends his time in his library, or among 
his friends, and where he gives a courteous recep- 
tion and a cordial welcome to all who come. It is 
very desirable that the Colonel, or some one else in 
that region who is competent to the task, should 
make the public better acquainted with the charac- 
ter and services of Gen. Harrington and several 
others who were associated with him during the 
hardest toils and conflicts of the war ; and, as that 
whole region lying between the Pedee and Cape 
Fear rivers, abounds so much in revolutionary inci- 
dents of an important and entertaining kind, it is 
hardly less desirable that there should be some one 


there who had in his cranium an " antiquarian 
bump," so well developed that he would take a 
pleasure in gathering up these incidents, and giving 
them to the public either in a moderate sized vol- 
ume, or in some of the current periodicals. 

Nathaniel Kerr. 

In all situations and everywhere, but especially 
in such a state of things as then existed in our 
country, a state of foreign and domestic war, the 
serious and the jocose, the perilous and the ludic- 
rous, are often so blended that our gravity is dis- 
turbed in spite of ourselves, and we are obliged to 
smile at the very efforts by which a man overcomes 
or escapes from the grasp of his deadliest foe. 

Nathaniel Kerr was a Whig and lived, at that 
time, in Randolph county, on the south side of Deep 
river, and not far from the present site of the Nor- 
mal College. This was a Whig neighborhood, but 
as it bordered on the Tory region, the Whigs were 
obliged, during the latter part of the war, to keep 
embodied most of the time, in self-defence ; and 
when thus embodied, they could not be idle. These 
embodiments were sometimes larger and sometimes 
smaller, as circumstances required. When Fan- 
ning, with his marauders, was known to be any 
where near, they were obliged to rally all the force 
they could, but at other times they kept together in 
smaller parties. As their object was to protect 
their families and their property, they did not go far 
from home, but ranged over the country, sometimes 


in one direction and sometimes in another, always 
ready to act on the aggressive or defensive accord- 
ing to circumstances. 

One of these parties consisting of ten or a dozen, 
while out one night in pursuit of some Tories, came 
upon them sometime after dark and in a small log 
house. When they entered the house, as they did, 
pell mell, there was such a jam that they could make 
no use of their guns, and happening to be just equal 
in numbers, they grappled, man with man. It be- 
came then a trial of muscular strength, and he who had 
the most vigor, or was the most alert in using what 
he had, was apt to be the victor. Kerr, though of 
slender proportions, was very much of a man and 
not easily handled ; but in this case he got yoked 
with one who was much superior to him in size and 
muscular power. In their struggle they fell across 
a bed which stood close by ; and then came the trial 
of both strength and agility. The Tory was upper- 
most, grasping him by the throat, and Kerr began 
to think it was a gone case with him ; but happen- 
ing to recollect at the moment, that he had on a 
pair of old fashioned spurs, with very long rowels, 
it occurred to him that they might answer a good 
purpose in the present emergency. He had found 
them effective for a horse and it was now to be 
proved whether they would be equally efficient on 
a Tory. So drawing up his feet with the quickness 
of thought, he made his heels play alternately, like 
drum sticks, along the fellows thighs and upon " the 
seat of honor," with such power that he would 
sometimes make the blood spin, and the operation 


was absolutely murderous. To be thus lacerated and 
torn piece meal was more than flesh and blood could 
bear ; and the poor Tory, letting go his grip, sprang 
to his feet on the floor, groaning and muttering 
vengeance ; but he had no sooner alighted on his 
feet, than his antagonist was on the floor and con- 
fronting him. Then assaulting him with the fierce- 
ness of a tiger, he soon overpowered him and made 
him submit. They were all eventually conquered ; 
but whether any were put to death, I did not learn. 
Sometime after the war Mr. Kerr removed to 
Guilford, and settled about ten miles east from the 
present town of Greensboro', where he raised a large 
and respectable family ; and was one of our most 
upright and estimable citizens. He lived to a Yery 
advanced age, and died as he had lived, without 
enemies, and with many friends, highly esteemed 
while living and sincerely lamented in his death by 
all who knew him. 

Ambrose Blackburne. 

In February, 1781, Isaac Horton and Abraham 
Horton, who lived in the northwest quarter of 
Stokes County, Captain Stanly, Petree, an English- 
man, and a free negro by the name of Arnold, with 
a number of others, fifteen in all, went to the house 
of Blackburne, who lived five miles northeast from 
Germantown, for the purpose of plunder. After 
calling him out, four of them went in and robbed 
the house of everything they wanted, including the 
whole of his wearing apparel, except his shirt ; but 


when they were about leaving, a clog belonging to 
the Tories, and one belonging to Blackburne, com- 
menced fighting; Blackburne cheered on the Whig 
dog, and the Tories cheered on the Tory dog, but 
Blackburne's dog was too hard for the Tory dog. 
When the Tories parted the dogs, Blackburne 
damned them, and told them that that was the way 
he intended to serve them, which excited their 
wrath and they swore they would kill him, but they 
were prevented by their Captain, Stanly. As soon 
as the Tories left, Blackburne went to the residence 
of Col. Joseph Winston, who lived on the Town 
Fork, some four miles distant ; and after calling out 
the Colonel, he invited him in, but Blackburne told 
him he could not go in unless he would throw him 
out a pair of breeches, for the Tories had robbed 
him of everything, even of his wearing clothes. 
The Colonel then furnished him with a pair- of 
buckskins, and immediately sent off runners to call 
out fifteen of the men under his command, among 
whom were Capt. Joseph Cloud, John Martin, Capt. 
Joshua Coxe, — the names of the others not recol- 
lected — and as soon as the men could be got 
together, which was in a very short time, perhaps 
only a few hours, they wer* 1 in pursuit. Their 
course lay across the Saurat&wm Mountains, at or 
near the Quaker Gap. In the evening of the same 
day, the Whigs met a boy carrying a bread-tray, 
and returning on the trail of the Tories, who, when 
asked by the Colonel, where he had been with the 
tray, replied, that he had gone to a neighbor's house 
to return some meal. 



The Colonel charged him with telling a false- 
hood, and with having carried meat or provisions to 
the Tories, adding that, if he did not tell them where 
they were, he would hang him on the spot. The 
boy denied knowing anything about them, and the 
Colonel said he would make him tell. Being satis- 
fied that the boy was acting a false part, he ordered 
some of his men, all of whom were mounted, to dis- 
mount and hang him if he did not give them the 
desired information. On the boy's still denying that 
he knew or refusing to tell, they put a rope round 
his neck and hoisted him up to the limb of a tree 
until they thought he would surely be willing to tell 
them the truth, and then let him down. He still 
refused, however ; and they hung him up the second 
time, but with the same success. The Colonel, feel- 
ing confident that he could inform him where the 
Tories were, if he would, then told him that unless 
he gave them the information which they wanted, 
without further delay, they would hang him up and 
leave him. This was probably said with such a 
positive and earnest tone that the boy, who had, no 
doubt been hitherto acting according to instructions, 
began to think that it was not an idle threat, or a 
mere device to extort a secret from him, agreed, 
rather than submit to such a death, to tell them all 
he knew. He said that he had just seen them; that 
they were not more than a mile off; and, that they 
were then encamped on the top of the Chesnut moun- 
tain, near the Virginia line. 

The "Whigs pushed on and attacked them, when 
a running fiodit commenced. The Tories scattered 


in every direction, and were hotly pursued by the 
Whigs until they were all killed, except one, by the 
name of Horton, and Stanly, their Captain. Jack 
Martin pursued Horton, who, as Martin approached, 
turned suddenly and fired on him ; but Martin, 
being well mounted on a good horse, just as the gun 
fired, drew up his horse and threw himself on the 
ground. Horton's ball struck the horse in the head 
a little below the eyes ; and Martin then fired on 
Horton, as he ran, and shot him in the back. The 
wound proved mortal and he died on the third day. 
Captain Stanly was spared at the intercession of 
Blackburne, and was kept as a prisoner of war until 

This band of Tories had their retreat on the north 
side of the Sauratown mountains, in a natural cave 
which is now known as the Tory House, and is a con- 
siderable curiosity. Here they must have had their 
residence for a length of time, as appeared from the 
immense quantity of beef and other bones which 
had accumulated at the mouth of the cave. From 
this subterranean abode they issued, when necessity 
required, or whenever they thought they could do 
so with safety, and killed the horses, cattle and other 
stock belonging to the Whigs of that section. On 
one occasion they killed five head of horses belong- 
ing to Matthew More, a prominent Whig in that 
region, by knocking them in the head with their 
tomahawks ; and this was a fair specimen of their 

The character of Col. Joseph Winston and John 
Martin, may be found in Wheeler's History of North 


Carolina, and other publications, and to these the 
reader is referred. 

There was in that region a family "by the name of 
Horton, consisting of the father and seven sons, all 
of whom were Tories, except Daniel, one of the 
sons. The old man was once tried for his life, by 
the Whigs, and sentenced to be shot. He had been 
blind-folded and was on his knees, ready for execu- 
tion, but at the solicitation of Matthew More, Esq., 
the Court Martial reconsidered his case, on account 
of the services of his son Daniel, and he was set at 
liberty. In addition to Col. Joseph Winston and 
John Martin, the most prominent Whigs in the 
north and north-west of Stokes county, during the 
war of the Eevolution, were Capt. Joshua Coxe and 
Capt. John Cloud ; the Tilly family, the Coxe family, 
the Gains family, the Leatherages were also sub- 
stantial Whigs, and all lived north of the Sauratown 
mountains. Edwin Hickman, who is still alive, 
having attained the extraordinary age of one hun- 
dred years. Thomas Shipp, father of the Eev. Bart- 
lett Shipp, and other names might, perhaps, be 
added ; but these were the most prominent, active 
and resolute. 


Who first held the rank of captain, and afterwards 
that of colonel, was a native of Ireland. He came 
to this country a few years before the revolutionary 
war, and settled on the Cape Fear Eiver. He was 
very decided in favor of independence, and was 


ready and forward to serve his country in every 
way lie could. Not a year after the Mecklinburgh 
Declaration of Independence, he drew up a paper 
called "An Association," dated Jane 20th, 1775, 
and used all his influence to procure signers. This 
paper has been published several times, and I am 
told, that the original is still preserved in Eobison 
County with a very respectable list of signatures. 
It is also said, that he published an address to the 
citizens of Cumberland County, but of this I have 
no certain or definite information. 

As captain of a company, he was, I am told, the 
first officer in that part of the country, who took up 
arms in the cause of freedom. lie was with Caswell 
and Lillington at the battle of Moore's Creek, and 
was the one, if my information be correct, who sug- 
gested the plan of removing the plank from the 
bridge, and of greasing the sleepers with soft soap, 
in consequence of which, many of the Tories slipped 
off into the water and were drowned. 

Being a very active and enterprising officer, he 
provoked the Tories so that they made every pos- 
sible effort to get him in their power ; and unfortu- 
nately, on one occasion, he was taken, with Theophilus 
Evans and Thomas Sewel. All three of them were 
condemned to be hung, and in the meantime, they 
were put into a log-cabin with a strong guard round 
it. The guard being weary, fell into a sound sleep 
and they contrived to get the ropes loose with which 
they were tied, when they all made their escape by 
climbing up the chimney. As soon as they reached 
the ground, each one aimed for the American camp 


■with all the speed he could, and they separately 
arrived there in perfect safety. 

On missing them, the Tories pursued, and went 
first to his house, every apartment, every nook and 
corner of which they searched in vain. They then 
told his wife that she must tell them where he was, 
or they would kill her; but she told them that her 
husband did not hide in the cuddies, and dared 
them to hurt her ; for, she said, if they did, they 
would see him before that time next day. This 
womanly firmness and independence probably over- 
awed them, for after plundering the house and 
destroying everything they could not carry off, they 
went away without any attempt to execute their 
threat. His countrymen afterwards showed their 
appreciation of his patriotic services in different 
ways, and for three years, 1778, 1779, 1785, he 
represented Cumberland County in the State 

Mrs. Elizabeth Forbi?. 

We are taught by the highest authority that we 
should give honor to whom honor is due, and among 
all the other faults of the good Old North State, the 
neglect of this injunction is not the least. 

We sometimes complain that we have been de- 
preciated and neglected by the general government 
or by the nation, but the reason is that we have 
depreciated and neglected ourselves. Yery few of 
those who toiled and suffered in the cause of inde- 
pendence, whether in the field, in the council 


chamber, or in the halls of legislation, have been 
duly honored, and the female portion of the Whig 
community, many of whom were, in their sphere, 
as patriotic, suffered as many privations and hard- 
ships, and made as resolute a resistance to oppression 
as the men, have been entirely neglected. It would 
take a volume to record their virtues and their noble 
deeds ; and all that the writer of the present work 
designs is merely to notice a few and show what 
may be done, or what abundant materials there are 
in the country, that others, who are more compe- 
tent, may be excited to undertake the task and do 
the work to better purpose. 

Among the many who deserved to be remembered 
for their sufferings and their patriotic devotion to 
their country, for their fortitude in danger and their 
determined resistance to oppression, was Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Forbis, wife of Colonel Arthur Forbis who 
was as brave a man as the country afforded and was 
mortally wounded in the Guilford battle. Her 
maiden name was Wiley, and she was a sister of 
Thomas Wiley, a brave and resolute Whig, who 
was under the command of Col. Forbis, and was 
wounded at the same time. We shall not under- 
take to detail her trials and sufferings, which were 
severe and protracted, but merely relate one inci- 
dent as illustrative of her character. 

Two or three days after the Guilford battle, two 
British horses came to the house of Thomas Mor- 
gan, who lived about a mile and a half, in a west 
direction, from Colonel Forbis', and he took them 
up, judging that, as the British and Tories had taken 


so many horses as well as other things of value from 
the "Whigs, the Whigs had a perfect right to any 
thing of theirs they could get. He knew that they 
were British horses from the fact that they had 
short tails, and that they were smaller than the horses 
of our army. It is said that the British horses 
all had what were called "bobbed tails," and that 
they were thus distinguished from the horses belong- 
ing to the American cavalry which had long tails. 

In the battle the British, of course, lost a good 
many horses by having them shot under them, or 
by their breaking away when the rider was dis- 
mounted ; and when a man on horseback was killed 
the horse made his escape, and these horses went at 
random over the country. Mrs. Forbis was now in 
very destitute and trying circumstances — her horses, 
except perhaps a colt that was unfit for work, her 
provisions, grain, cattle and almost every thing on 
the plantation had been taken from her by the 
Tories ; her husband was now dead or dying of his 
wounds, and her oldest son, a lad about thirteen or 
fourteen years of age, just large enough to drive a 
plough with a gentle horse, was her only depend- 
ence for making a crop. 

As Mr. Morgan was aware of her situation he 
took one of the horses clown to her next morning, 
and told her if she would accept of it the horse 
should be hers, for he considered that we had a 
perfect right to take any thing of theirs we could 
get, and he had no idea that the owner, if alive, 
would ever know where he was, or think of looking 
for him in that direction. In fact, very few if any 


of their "horses could get away on the day of battle 
unless the rider was killed. She told him that she 
would accept his offer very thankfully ; for the time 
of year had come for putting in a crop, and she had 
no horse fit for the plough. So the horse was left, 
and she immediately put him to work. 

Next day, her little son had the horse in the 
plough drawing furrows for corn, and she was 
dropping corn after the plough and covering it with 
her hoe, when two young looking men came up to 
them on foot and demanded the horse — one of them 
saying the horse was his and he must have him ; 
but she told him she had as good a right to the 
horse as he had, and she should not give him up. 
She had no idea that the men belonged to the 
British army ; for, at that time, it could not be less 
than thirty or forty miles south of her on its way 
to Wilmington. Probably they were Tories who 
had been employed by the British to procure as 
many horses as they needed and were directed to 
take them wherever they could find them. When 
wandering over the country in search of horses they 
had accidentally come to Forbis' and knowing the 
horse to be a British horse, from his bobbed tail, 
they laid claim to him, but she refused to give him 
up. After the demand and refusal had been re- 
peated two or three times, he ordered the boy to 
take the horse out of the gears ; for he meant to 
have him ; but she forbid him to do any such thing. 
The boy stood for some time, looking first at one 
and then at the other as if he hardly knew what he 
ought to do ; for though he respected his mother, 


he feared the men ; but his regard for his mother 
proved to be the strongest feeling. The man seeing 
this, stepped up to the horse for the purpose of 
loosing the traces himself; but she moved up right 
in front of him, with her hoe raised over her head ; 
and, with a firm countenance and an earnest manner, 
told him if he touched the horse she would split his 
head with the hoe. Whether overawed by her 
dignified and earnest manner, or touched with com- 
passion for her afflicted and destitute condition, we 
know not, but they left her with the horse and she 
was no more troubled. 

She lived to see the independence of the country 
established, and to share for many years in the 
general prosperity and happiness. When the writer 
first became acquainted with her she was very old, 
but a more cheerful and warm-hearted christian 
was not to be found ; and she will be held in long 
remembrance on earth, though she has been for 
many years enjoying in heaven a much richer in- 
heritance than earth can afford. 

Mrs. Mary Morgan. 

An old lady of great respectability remarked to 
the writer not long since, when speaking of the revo- 
lutionary times, that the women in this part of the 
country would then have shouldered their muskets 
and fought, if it had not been for the impropriety. 
The remark has been made by others; and we be- 
lieve it to be true ; for they seem to have been, from 
principle, as patriotic as the men ; and they suffered 


so much from both British and Tories, that it could 
not be thought strange if they felt like shouldering 
their muskets and marching out to meet their ruth- 
less oppressors in mortal combat. 

To have their feather-beds dragged into the yard, 
ripped open, and the feathers scattered to the four 
winds of heaven ; their blankets and other furniture 
taken for the benefit of those who, instead of rob- 
bing, ought to protect them ; their stock of every 
kind — horses, cattle, hogs, &c, driven off before their 
eyes — and the very bread and meat prepared for 
their next meal devoured in their presence by a set 
of voracious harpies in human shape — and all this 
repeated as often as they could, by industry and 
economy, replace a comfort or acquire a scanty sub- 
sistance for themselves and their children — was too 
much for even the patience and forbearance of 
woman to endure. Who can wonder that, in such 
circumstances, they should sometimes feel like fight- 
ing? "Who could think it strange if, under such 
wrongs and oppressions, so merciless and so oft re- 
peated, they had actually taken up arms and fought 
like heroes ? This they did not do, however ; but 
occasionally, when an opportunity was presented, 
they were ready to retaliate, or to make such re- 
prisals as they could, which, if not very valuable, 
showed their spirit, and were gratifying to their 

Among others who performed similar feats, was 
Mrs. Mary Morgan, or, as she was generally called 
in the neighborhood, Molly Morgan, the wife of 
Thomas Morgan, and sister of the brave and 


lamented Col. Forbis. They lived on the place now 
owned and occupied by Robison Sloan, and about 
two miles in a westward direction from her brother's 

While the British army lay encamped on tbe 
plantation of Ralph Gorrell, Esq., who lived on the 
south side of the south Buffalo creek, and the same 
side on which Thomas Morgan lived, a party, under 
the command of the proper officer, whether Tarleton 
or one of subordinate grade is not now recollected, 
went down the creek one day on a plundering expe- 
dition. The plantation of Col. Paisley was the prin- 
cipal scene of their depredations; but others that 
lay on their route or contiguous to his, were not 

On their return, they gave Mr. Morgan a call; 
but he being a Whig, was from home. That, how- 
ever, was a matter of little consequence, as their 
main object was to get something that would "keep 
soul and body together;" and the only difference 
was, that if he had been there, he would have been 
one item in the inventory of plundered articles, or 
of slaughtered animals. This was a gratification 
which they certainly did not have, and probably 
did not expect ; but they took such as they could 
get, though neither such nor so much as they 

The house and plantation had been plundered so 
often already, that there was very little to be got ; 
but even the scanty leavings of their friends and 
allies, the Tories, or the poor little earnings of Mr. 
and Mrs. Morgan, since the Tories had been there, 


were better than nothing. The house was ran- 
sacked from the cellar to the garret, though the 
mother and helpless children might afterwards 
starve, or perish with cold. The kitchen and 
smoke-house, corn-crib and barn, were the subjects 
of a similar visitation. Nothing was spared that 
could be of service to man or beast; but while 
they were thus engaged, without a thought about 
their horses, Mrs. Morgan, who possessed in no 
small degree the spirit of her brother, Col. Forbis, 
taking the valise from the saddle of the command- 
ing officer, dropped it in an inside corner of the 
fence, among some high weeds, and a few panels 
below the horse to which it belonged. 

When they got ready to leave, the sun was nearly 
down, and they had five or six miles to go. In the 
hurry of the moment, the officer, mounting his 
horse, and placing himself at the head of the troop, 
rode off at half speed, and without ever thinking 
of his valise. This was the only thing she could 
do without being detected on the spot, which would 
have subjected her to some ill treatment, while it 
promised no advantage ; and in this she succeeded 
well. On openiug the valise, it was found to be 
full of fine linen shirts, collars, cravats, and other 
articles, which, on the whole, were worth considera- 
bly more than all they had taken from her. 

Mrs. Eachel Denney. 

Everybody has heard much about Irish wit ; and 
no people in the world are more justly celebrated 


than the Irish for this trait of character. Thousands 
have writhed under it, and thousands more have 
laughed at it, most heartily, without being able to 
acquire the faculty or to imitate its productions. 
The following reply of an old lady to a British 
officer, during the war of the revolution, may per- 
haps amuse the reader ; and this is the only purpose 
for which it is here given. 

While the British army lay encamped on the 
plantation of William Kankin, who lived low down 
on the North Buffalo, foraging parties, as usual, 
were sent out every day and in all directions, taking 
as much as they wanted wherever they could find 
it, and often destroying what they could not carry 
away. A party of this description, under the com- 
mand of the proper officer, went one day to the 
house of Walter Denney, an old Scotch-Irish-Pres- 
byterian, highly esteemed in the neighborhood for 
the consistency of his Christian character, and 
withal, a genuine Whig, just as orthodox in his 
political as in his religious creed. Of course, when 
the British army was so near, he was from home, 
and the officer in command could not have the 
pleasure either of taking him prisoner or of insult- 
ing him as a rebel. While the soldiers, under his 
direction, were robbing the house, smoke-house and 
kitchen, corn-crib and barn, he chose to sit there 
and amuse himself with the old lady, while she was 
compelled to look on, as patiently as she could, and 
see her bread and meat, the blankets she had made 
with her own hands, and all the most valuable 


articles on the premises, seized by a ruthless band 
of mercenary soldiers. 

He commenced by asking her where her husband 
was, to which she replied, that she did not know. 
Well, if she did know, would she tell ? was the 
next question, to which she flatly, but kindly an- 
swered, no ; and no gentleman of honorable feelings 
would ever ask or expect such a thing. When he 
asked her again, if she was not afraid that he would 
be caught and hung as a rebel ? she said, as he was 
engaged in a good cause, he was in good hands, and 
she hoped he would be protected. He then cursed 
her very profanely, telling her that he believed the 
women in that part of the country were as damned 
rebels as the men, and that one -half of them, at 
least, ought to be shot or hung, to all which she 
made no reply. 

After a little pause, on looking round and seeing 
the Bible and hymn-book on the table, he remarked 
to her, that he supposed the old man prayed every 
day in his family. Yes, she said, when he was at 
home, they generally had family worship. Well, 
does he ever pray for King George ? was the next 
question which was asked with rather a sneering, 
haughty air ; and to this she made no direct reply. 
He then said, he must pray for King George, and 
she must tell him so. Without saying yea or nay, 
very positively, she intimated, with some indiffer- 
ence of manner, that perhaps a good man might 
pray for the salvation of his soul, but not for the 
success of his arms; for he had sinned so long and 
so much, that there was very little encouragement 


to pray even for his salvation, and to pray for the 
success of his arms when they were employed to 
oppress the unoffending and to enforce obedience to 
unrighteous authority, would be praying in direct 
opposition to the instructions of the Bible, which 
would be as offensive to God as it would be useless 
to man. He then told her that he must pray for 
the king or be treated as a rebel. Ah, indeed, said 
the old woman, he has been denounced as a rebel 
long ago, and no thanks to you nor King George 
either, that he still lives to defend his country. 
"Well," said he, "do you tell him that he must 
pray for King George to-night, or whenever he 
prays in his family, for I intend to come or send 
men to ascertain, and if he does not, I will have him 
taken and hung up to the limb of that oak tree in 
the yard. " Aye, faith," said the old lady, with an 
air of perfect nonchalance, and in her peculiar Irish 
manner, " Aye faHh, an! monny a prayer has been 
toasted upon King George." 

The young hero, on looking at the sun, said to 
the men, it was high time they were returning to 
camp ; and so, gathering up what plunder they had, 
without waiting for any more, though Mr. Denney 
had an abundance of everything, they moved off in 
very quick time, the lieutenant not feeling any 
better satisfied with himself than he wished. 

Mrs. Sarah Logan. 

In every pursuit and in all the departments of 
human interest there are different ways of attaining 


the same end. What one nation will seek to accom- 
plish only by open force another will effect by policy 
or negotiation. Sometimes one is necessary and 
sometimes the other. Often it is necessary that both 
should be combined, and then the most advanta- 
geous results are obtained of which the nation is 
capable ; but we always feel the highest admiration 
when the same end is accomplished by mind alone, 
or when reparation of injuries and security against 
injustice or oppression are attained, not by the low 
arts of falsehood and intrigue, but by a wise and 
politic negotiation. We could easily take their 
lands from the Indians by the power of the sword, 
but it has always been deemed less expensive and 
more honorable to obtain them by purchase. 

What we find in nations we find in individuals, 
for nations are composed of individuals. When 
one man will stand firm and undismayed another 
will cower and be completely unmanned. There are 
all possible degrees of intellectual capacity, from 
perfect idiocy up to the most gigantic powers, so 
there are of moral courage and physical energy ; 
and what one man would think of doing only by 
muscular power or by a stern, overbearing, resolute 
manner, another will accomplish equally well by 
his superior intelligence and address. So we find 
among women a similar diversity of mental and 
moral power, of intelligence and firmness, of fore- 
sight, promptitude and energy; but in all cases, 
even those in which the most intrepid courage, the 
clearest discernment, the most entire self-possession, 
the utmost promptitude and energetic resolution 


are displayed, all the traits of female character are 

During the troublous times of the Bevolutionary 
war the Whig portion of the female community 
shared with their fathers and brothers, husbands 
and sons, in the privations, perils and sufferings in- 
cident to the times. In some cases nothing less 
than the most inflexible courage, and the most 
prompt and energetic action, even to the use of 
physical force, could be of any avail ; but in others, 
superior intelligence and shrewdness with a womanly 
dignity of manner and a proper use of the tongue 
gained a signal and honorable triumph, of which 
the lady whose name stands at the head of this arti- 
cle, Mrs. Sarah Logan, may be given as an example. 
Her character cannot be better described in a few 
words than by saying, in the common language of 
the country, that she was " a real smart woman," 
that is to say she was a woman of superior mind, of 
great energy, of sound principles, and endowed with 
all the nobler qualities of the heart. She never was 
at a loss for something to say, and what she had to 
say was always appropos. She could use her tongue 
or her hands with equal facility, and always used 
both to a very good purpose. In wit or repartee, 
among her acquaintance, she feared no one, and her 
good sense and kindness of disposition were at all 
times so predominant as to secure the good will of 
everybody. No matter in what circumstances she 
was placed she never seemed to be at a loss for ex- 
pedients, and in going through the daily routine of 


lier duties everything was well done and done with 
more than ordinary despatch. 

Although a native of this state, she lived, after 
her marriage, in one of the upper districts of South 
Carolina and not far from the dividing line. Her 
character, which was uniformly the same in all 
situations, was severely tried during the war and 
her mental resources were often taxed to the very 
utmost ; but inflexibly Whig as she was in her prin- 
ciples, and ardently patriotic in her feelings, her 
good sense, her ready wit, and her energy of char- 
acter, carried her through every trial, and enabled 
her to meet every peril with entire success. Of this, 
the following incident, the only one we shall relate, 
though many others of a similar kind occurred, may 
be taken as an illustration. 

On a cold frosty morning in November, some 
four or five Tories, knowing that her husband, who 
was a Whig, was from home, came there for the 
purpose of plunder. She knew them well by name 
and by character. She had seen them too, often 
enough ; but, as they were not at all of her class, she 
never had any intercourse with them. As soon as 
they appeared in the lane she understood their busi- 
ness at once ; and, knowing perfectly well from their 
character, that her only chance to secure herself 
against their depredations would be by stratagem, 
she immediately began to revolve in her mind some 
scheme by which she could disappoint them of their 
object without exciting their angry or vindictive 
passions ; nor did her fertility of invention or her 
presence of mind forsake her on the present occasion. 


When they rode up, they hitched their horses to 
the fence, which was within a few feet of the house, 
and went in without any ceremony. She met them 
at the door; and, without betraying the least emotion 
of fear or resentment, received them very courteously 
and with apparent sincerity set chairs for them and 
asked them to be seated, inquiring very kindly 
about the health of their families, and of the neigh- 
borhood. Then remarking that as they had come 
some distance in such a frosty morning they must 
be cold, she asked them if they would not sit nearer 
to the fire ; at the same time calling for more wood, 
she had a rousing fire made ; and in short treated 
them with full as much courtesy and kindness, as 
if they had been her particular friends. 

Perhaps most of my readers know that, when 
those who lived far back in the country, married 
and settled upon a small patrimony, they generally 
went at first into a small log house, with only one 
room below, which served for both parlor and bed- 
room, and one above as a lodging room for visitors. 
They expected that in such a house they could be 
comfortable and contented for a few years, and they 
hoped that by the blessing of Providence on their 
industry and economy, they would be able, after 
a while, to get a better one. Every body knows too 
that in a house of this description on a farm consid- 
erable mud and dust will be every hour of the day 
deposited on the floor, in spite of all the care that 
can be taken ; and that if it were swept clean on 
going to bed, the bringing in of wood and water in 
the morning would renew the deposit. Mrs. Logan, 


having been only a few years married, was still 
living in such a house, and this must be borne in 

Seemingly desirous of standing as fair as possible 
in the estimation of her new friends, she made a 
good many apologies for the condition in which they 
had found her house, and stated that although it was 
her practice to have it swept and put in order early 
in the morning, she had been prevented from doing 
so that morning, by a sick child, but that as she had 
just commenced as they rode up, if they would be 
kind enough to excuse her a little she would finish 
in two or three minutes, and then they would be 
more comfortable. So saying, she plied the broom 
with so much force and rapidity that it raised a 
tremendous dust, and she was very sorry to give 
them so much annoyance; but proceeding with her 
work, she drew off the bed covering and tossed up 
the bed to enliven the feathers ; then taking a sheet 
or bed-spread and skimming out on the door step, 
gave it two or three great flurries as if to shake off 
any dust that might have settled on it, making it 
rattle every time and spread out to its full length 
and breadth in the air. This frightened the horses 
at the fence so that every one of them broke his 
bridle and ran as if a fire brand had been tied to his 
tail, each one taking a different direction and run- 
ning for dear life, 

Of course the men took after their horses ; for 
they were worth more than all the plunder they ex- 
pected to get, and they could not take away any 
thing of much value without them ; and as they 


went out she was " very sorry" — "what a pity," — 
but if they ever got their horses it was not in time 
to return that day and she never saw anything more 
of them. A similar treatment of the Tories from 
the first and universally, so far as practicable, would 
have greatly diminished their number and made 
the others more manageable ; for it is always better 
to overcome men with kindness than to subdue 
them by violence. 

Mrs. Elizabeth McGraw. 

The following incident, for which I am indebted 
to J. F. Graves, Esq., of Mount Airy, was thought 
to be well worth preserving as an additional illus- 
tration of the disordered state of things then 
existing in the country, of the privations and 
perils to which the families of Whigs, especially 
in those regions where they were comparatively 
few in number, were continually liable from the 
ruthless spirit of the Tories, and of the ingenuity 
often displayed by wives and mothers to save their 
little property from spoiliation, and their friends from 
capture and protracted suffering, if not from instant 
death. Mrs. McCraw's maiden name was Waller, 
a daughter of George Waller, of Henry county, 
Ya. Her husband, Jacob McCraw, was a decided 
and active Whig. She lived until her death, which 
occurred about 1836, in the neighborhood of Mount 
Airy, and, therefore, although the account rests on 
tradition, there is little doubt that it is entirely 


u I need not tell you," says Mr. Graves, " that the 
Tories were very troublesome during the ' Old 
War,' (as our old people termed it,) in this section 
of the State. Their predatory bands did not fail, 
at some time or other, to ransack and plunder 
every Whig habitation in the whole country ; and, 
of course, old Jacob McCraw's did not escape. On 
a very cold night, the old man being from home, 
and no white person on the premises, save the old 
woman, the Tory party which prowled through the 
neighborhood determined to pay her a visit. So 
soon as she became aware of their approach, she 
made all the negroes who were able to go, run off 
and hide themselves, while she rolled the little 
ones up in some tow, which had just been hackled 
from the flax that day, dressed and put them in the 
closet. She was scarcely over putting up her tow, 
when the Tories came in. They ransacked almost 
every nook and corner in search of the valuables, 
but they failed to find the little negroes stowed 
away in the closet, After having searched for and 
found, as they supposed, every other valuable, they 
went to the old lady's cupboard, and took down 
her shining rows of pewter plates, and cutting 
holes through the rims, they ran a hickory withe 
through them and carried them off. Many } r ears 
afterwards, the old woman happening to be at a 
neighbor's house, actually ate her dinner out of her 
own pewter plates w T ith the holes through the 


Miss Ann Fergus. 

Most of my readers have, no doubt, some know- 
ledge, from general history, of the horrors attending 
a battle, and of the ravages made by an invading 
army when marching through the country, or even 
when stationary in the occupation of some important 
post; but many of them are perhaps not aware that 
in such cases, especially when quartered in a town, 
though in the midst of dangers, and meet death staring 
them in the face on every side, are or try to be a very 
"jolly set of fellows ;" that they pride themselves on 
their gallantry and polite attention to the ladies. I 
once saw it stated in some history, that at the great 
battle of Waterloo, many of the British officers of 
high rank were in the town, and attending a ball, 
some of them on the floor, and floating in the mazes 
of the dance, when they heard the roar of cannon as 
the first announcement of the approaching conflict, 
and at that moment a summons came from the com- 
mander-in-chief to repair to their respective com- 
mands. Instantly, making the ladies a polite bow, 
and bidding them good evening, mounted their 
horses, and dashed off to the field of carnage. 

While Major Craig was in occupation of Wil- 
mington, he and his officers, among other modes of 
diversion, were fond of attending as many balls 
and social parties as they could ; and on these occa- 
sions things frequently occurred which were quite 
amusing, some of which still live in the traditions 
of the country. The following anecdote, for which 


I am indebted to Mr. Gk J. M'Cree, of Wilmington, 
and which is therefore perfectly reliable, though 
merely of the ludicrous kind, was deemed rather 
too good to be lost. 

Miss Ann Fergus was a young lady of superior 
intellect, of good education, and polished manners. 
She was of a Scotch family, which was wealthy, 
and of high standing in the social circle. Tall and 
graceful in her person, she was considerably above 
the medium height ; for she stood full five feet ten 
inches, in her stocking feet, and as that was the age 
of high heels, when thus elevated, as she would be 
at a party, her height might be fairly estimated at 
six feet. She had at this time, a brother, and pos- 
sibly a sweetheart in the American army. At a 
party one evening, a number of British officers 
were present, and among them w r as one who was a 
very small man, but by no means deficient in self- 
esteem, which showed itself in his deportment ; for 
he "pestered the ladies not a little, with his gallan- 
tries, impertinence, and presumption." In the 
course of the evening, he stepped up to Miss Fer- 
gus, and asked her for a kiss. Yery gravely, and 
perhaps with some little hauteur, she told him " Yes, 
he might have one, if he could take it without get- 
ting upon a stool. Instantly the little fellow tiptoed 
and stretched his neck, but as he did so, she too, 
raised herself to her full height, and he ' couldn't 
come it.' The effect was so extremely ludicrous, 
that the attention of the whole company was at- 
tracted, and the ridicule was absolutely overwhelm- 
ing. Completely abashed and chapfallen, he fled in 


confusion, and never afterwards approached an 
American lady." 

Mrs. Margaret Caruthers. 

On every occurrence of disappointment or adver- 
sity we are reminded that no one knows what 
he can do until he is tried ; and this is cer- 
tainly true; but it is equally true that in the 
ordinary course of things, especially in a country 
like ours, so peaceful and so prosperous, no one is 
tried to the full extent of his powers. 

His fortitude may be tried by the endurance of 
bodily pain or mental anguish, his patience may be 
tried by the provocations of the malicious, or the 
changes of fortune, his uprightness and fidelity, his 
generosity and all the qualities of the heart may be 
tried by the social and business intercourse of life ; 
but all the mental resources and moral energies are 
fully tested only by great and sudden emergencies 
when important interests are at stake, or when life 
itself is menaced. There is nothing which more ex- 
cites our admiration than to see any one manifesting 
a firmness, discretion and promptness, so as to be 
triumphant in circumstances of great peril or of 
great provocation suddenly occurring, and beyond 
his control ; and especially in those whose delicacy, 
reserve and comparative weakness lead them to 
shrink from the turmoils and scenes of conflict 
which require the sterner attributes of our nature. 
In such cases it is the triumph not of physical force, 
stimulated and directed by ambition or by a spirit 


of revenge ; but of moral power, of conscious recti- 
tude, and of simple devotion to great and sacred 
principles. Even when physical strength is obliged 
to be in some measure employed it is in a way 
which shows the absence of malice, revenge or 
even of heroic pride, but the dignity of the woman, 
and the nobler qualities of the heart are always the 
most prominent. The names of many such women 
adorn the pages of history, and every act display- 
ing extraordinary firmness, promptitude and mag- 
nimity on occasions of imminent peril, or of wanton 
cruelty and injustice deserve to be recorded. 

Of the lady whose name stands at the head of this 
article, Mrs. Margaret Caruthers, but little is known. 
Her maiden name was Gillespie, and she was a na- 
tive of Lancaster county, in Pennsylvania. She and 
her husband James Caruthers, were among the first 
settlers in the middle region of North Carolina. She 
had four sons and several daughters ; and they all 
became respectable citizens and consistent members 
of the church. During the revolutionary war, three 
of her sons were more or less in the service of their 
country ; and her oldest son, Robert, was a partizan 
officer, with the title of Captain, whether given to 
him by the regular authorities, or gratuitously by 
his friends and the men who served under him, is 
not known to the writer ; but he was a very active, 
enterprising officer, and was almost constantly out 
on duty. The youngest son was kept at home to 
take care of his parents and attend to the farm ; and 
he was killed by some Tories in disguise of Indians. 
Of this they had only circumstantial proof; but that 


was very strong. He had gone over in the morning 
to a neighbor's house, about two miles distant, on an 
errand, and expected to return in a short time. 
There was a small creek on the plantation and 
almost in sight of the house. When on his return, 
some men, painted and dressed like Indians, having 
concealed themselves in the lower grounds, shot him 
as he was crossing the creek. They had either got 
some intimation of his having gone to this neigh- 
bor's, or were merely lying in ambush until he 
would come out to work in the field. The report 
of the gun was heard at the house, and their suspi- 
cions were immediately excited. The mother and 
a daughter or two who were still living with her 
went in search, and found him lying on the bank of 
the creek, dead, scalped and the bloody knife with 
which it was done lying on the ground by his head. 
The knife had the name of one of the neighbors cut 
on the handle ; and it was supposed that, in the agi- 
tation of the moment, arising from the fear of detec- 
tion, and the remorse of a guilty conscience, he had 
forgotten the knife. lie was not a very near neigh- 
bor, but lived some three or four miles distant. 
They never had any neighborhood intercourse ; but 
ever after, if he met any of the family, his counte- 
nance betrayed a consciousness of guilt, and he 
shunned them if possible. 

This was hard for a mother to bear in her circum- 
stances, for in addition to all the other privations 
and hardships of those troublous times, from the 
summer of 1780, when the British overrun South 
Carolina, until near the close of the war, her other 


sons were in camp, her husband, though not so old 
as to be infirm, was passed the age for military duty, 
and must either be with some armed body of Whigs 
or keep himself in some place of concealment; her 
youngest son, the support and solace of her old age, 
now so basely and inhumanly murdered, and she 
left without a protector, and exposed to the ravages 
of the Tories, who were as regardless of justice and 
humanity as they were of patriotism and honor, all 
this seemed like filling her cup of affliction to the 
brim, but she bore it all with great fortitude and 

At this distance of time, not much is known of 
her history, except that she was highly respected 
among her acquaintances; that she was a woman of 
great firmness and energy of character, and that she 
had as much of "the spirit of 76," perhaps, as any 
other woman in the country. In whatever situation 
she was placed, however embarrassing and even 
appalling were the circumstances, she was never so 
surprised or intimidated as to lose her self-possession, 
but saw at once what was to be done, and she was 
as resolute and prompt in executing her plan. Of 
this, the following incident may be taken as an 
illustration, and in sudden and trying emergencies, 
one act often furnished as good a test of native cha- 
racter as a whole life. 

Not long after the unprovoked and cold-blooded 
murder of her youngest son, two Tories who lived 
in the neighborhood, and knew that she was left 
without a protector, came to her house one morning 
for the purpose of plunder. She had in the stable, 


a young black mare, large, handsomely-formed, and 
highly valued for her qualities. Of course she was 
the first object to be secured, and bringing her out 
of the stable, they hitched her to the limb of a shade 
tree at the west end of the house. The next move 
was to gather and pack up what they could find in 
or about the house, such as meat, flour, blankets 
and other articles, and then they went into the corn- 
crib to fill their bags with corn. 

The crib was then constructed very much as it is 
on most plantations at the present day. It was an 
oblong structure made of small logs, about a rod 
long, five or six feet wide, and seven or eight feet 
high from the floor, more or less, according to the 
quantity which the owner wished it to contain. In 
the front was an opening about sixteen or eighteen 
inches squares, just so large that a mill bag when 
filled with corn could be drawn through end fore- 
most. When going in or out, the owner was 
obliged to proceed somewhat longitudinally, head 
foremost ; and when going out, especially, he thrust 
out one leg first, then his head, and with his body 
laid beside the projecting limb, forced himself 
through with the other leg resting on the floor, and, 
at the same time, as it was raised a foot or two 
above the ground, held by the side with the left 
hand, lest when the centre of gravity passed the sill, 
he might go faster and further than he wanted- 
Whilst these robbers, having thus entered, were 
busy in filling their bags, she was busy in making 
arrangements to disappoint them. 

In the first place she took the black mare round 


to the backside of the house, and locked her up in 
the cellar, the house being all the time between her 
and the crib. She had a stick of hickory wood in 
the chimney corner, which had been blocked out 
for an axe-handle, and put there to season. It was 
about double as large and heavy as when dressed 
for use ; and in those times when clearing was a 
regular winter business, every farmer always kept 
one, and sometimes two or three, of these pieces of 
timber in the corner that they might be seasoned 
and ready when needed. She took this cudgel, 
and keeping it concealed under her long apron, 
went to the corner of the crib, where she stood 
perfectly still and quiet till they were coming out, 
when she applied it with sufficient energy, and to 
very good purpose. By first taking the one on the 
ground, before he had fairly recovered his upright 
position, and then the other while doubled up in 
the door in such a position that he could neither 
regress nor egress with any dispatch, she belabored 
them so effectually that she prevented any retalia- 
tion, and made them glad to get away alive. It 
was not her design to kill them, but to get clear 
of them ; and in this she succeeded so completely, 
that they crawled off the best way they could, 
without their plunder, and troubled her no more. 

Miss Margaret McBride. 

Among the Scotch-Irish, who first settled in Guil- 
ford, was Hantz McBride, a man of good character, 
steady habits and respectable standing in his neigh- 


borhood. He lived and died on the place where he 
first settled, which was seven or eight miles, south 
by east, from the present town of Greensboro', and 
midway between the Alamance and Buffalo creeks, 
where the two streams are about three miles apart. 

Being a member of Dr. Caldwell's congregation, 
he was, of course, a Whig in the Revolutionary war 
and, from first to last, did what he could to support 
the cause of Independence. He was too old to be 
on the muster list, but, as he was known to have 
taken an active part, when the British army or any 
embodiment of the Tories was about, he found it 
necessary to keep out of the way. His family was 
large and mostly daughters, but, whether sons or 
daughters, they were all Whigs and some of them 
were so enthusiastic in the cause that they deserve 
to be remembered. His son Isaiah, the oldest of 
the family and, if I mistake not, his only son, served 
two or three campaigns and was regarded as a man 
of courage and firmness. 

In the summer of 1781, when the Tories were 
so troublesome, his daughter Margaret, or Maggie, as 
she was familiarly called in the family and neigh- 
borhood, was about thirteen or fourteen and pretty 
well grown for one of that age. Though without 
the advantages of education or intelligent society, 
she was a girl of strong native sense and, having 
never been in the school of old William Penn, she 
was not much disposed to be grave or taciturn. 
There was nothing about her that was at all incon- 
sistent with the modesty and delicacy of her sex ; 
but she would have some opinion of her own on 


almost every subject and would generally take the 
liberty of saying just what she thought. When 
men or older people were present she was silent, as 
became her, and paid a respectful attention, but 
when with her co-evals, and especially those of her 
own sex, they were not apt to complain of having a 
" Quaker meeting." In short, she was one of those 
girls who love everybody and fear nobody, who are 
so sprightly and fascinating, so frank and open 
hearted, so generous and confiding, that no one can 
be their enemy, and every one who makes their 
acquaintance becomes a friend. Of course, she was 
just the girl to be enthusiastic in the cause of free- 
dom, and there was not a warmer advocate of Inde- 
pendence in the whole country. She would never 
drink a drop of tea while the world stood — not she, 
if it implied an admission that the English, or any 
other nation, had a right to tax us at their pleasure, 
and she would live on bread and water all the time, 
if necessary, that the men who were fighting for 
their country might be fed and clothed until the 
" red coats," the slaves of arbitrary power, were all 
driven from our shores. When among her associ- 
ates or youthful acquaintances she could reason with 
no little cogency and declaim with a force and pro- 
priety that would have done credit to an older head. 
For the Whigs she had the highest regard, and 
gloried in the name, but a Tory was her abhorrence. 
To the north and north-west of M'Bride's, was a 
small tract of country lying between the two Buf 
falo creeks, four or five miles in width, and ten o: 
twelve in length. It included the present site c 


Greensboro', and extended on both sides of the 
Hillsboro' road, to the Buffalo bridge. Then, and 
for years after, the whole region was a wilderness, 
and not unlike a western prairie. Nobody lived on 
it, and there were no roads through it, except such 
as served for occasional intercourse between the two 
settlements, north and south. The only growth of 
timber was the pine, and trees of this description 
were then neither very large nor thick t on the 
ground ; but from the fact that the pine was the 
principal growth, it was called the " Pine Woods," 
or "Pine Barrens." If any persons made it their 
home, they were probably thieves or renegades, and 
must have shared their covert with the wild beasts, 
or sheltered themselves in wigwams, covered with 
leaves and pine bark, like the Indians. No man of 
any respectability ever thought of building or set- 
tling himself there with a family, because the soil 
was deemed too thin for cultivation, and it was 
valued only as a place of range, or pasturage for 
cattle. So rich were its resources in this respect, 
that for a number of years, stock of every kind 
could live on it, and keep in good order through 
the winter, without any care or attention from the 
owners. In the summer, it was covered with a 
dense coat of grass and pea vines, waist high ; and 
the farmers, north and south, never thought of 
having any meadow at home, but came over at the 
proper season, into the Barrens, and made as much 
hay as they wanted for the winter. 

For some distance along the sides there were oc- 
casional rivulets, which, being fed by springs from 


the higher ground, were permanent ; but most of 
it was a poor sandy ridge, and destitute of water. 
It was, however, occasionally intersected with 
Black-jack glades, which were certainly not very 
inviting ; but then there were some spots that were 
like oases in the desert ; hollows, or depressions of 
small depth, through which a stream of water ran, 
for three or four months in the winter, and although 
they were dry in the summer, there was a moisture, 
which produced a different growth. In places, for 
several rods in diameter, they were densely covered 
with such growth as the maple, elm, and sweet 
gum. The margins were lined with alders, wild 
briers, and other shrubbery. The trees were richly 
festooned with grape-vines, mostly the Fox and 
Muscadine, which were very luxuriant, and with 
their broad, thick leaves, completely shut out the 
rays of the sun, so that, altogether, it formed a 
perfect jungle, and a man, or any other object in 
the inside, could not be seen by an outsider at any 
distance. These places were delightful retreats 
from the sultry heat of a summer's day ; so cool 
and refreshing ; no human habitation within miles ; 
no public highway to bring the traveller or the man 
of business along, with his noise and bustle; nothing 
to break the silence or disturb the repose. They 
were the very places for the love-sick, the weary, or 
the contemplative : but a man would be strongly 
solicited to take a nap, if he could be free from all 
apprehensions of danger. The rich clusters of 
grapes hanging over his head, the humming of the 
bees in the flowers, the carolling of the birds in 


the trees, the pensive sounds of the pine tops as the 
fitful breezes passed over them, which, if not so 
variable, were quite as soothing and somniferous as 
the tones of the iEolian harp, all invited to repose. 

Here many a pack of wolves, before they were all 
killed or driven from the country, held their mid- 
night revels, their festive orgies and their delibera- 
tive assemblies. Here, in these sequestered retreats, 
it is said, the "Black-Jack Lodges" of Freemasons, 
frequently held their meetings during the war ; and 
here the mowers, from Buffalo and Alamance, in 
the Dog-clays, when oppressed with the heat and 
weary of toil, retired to rest awhile and drink their 
grog and whet their scythes, and crack their jokes. 

About the beginning of Autumn, in 1781, a small 
body of Tories from the south side of Guilford, or 
the north of Randolph, came up and pitched their 
camp in one of these sequestered glades. Although, 
they must be supported from the surrounding coun- 
try, it does not appear that they had any design of 
making war on the Whig settlements, for that 
would have been madness ; but to keep themselves 
concealed and to carry on their operations in secret. 
The two congregations above mentioned, which 
then included all who lived north and south of 
these " Barrens," for miles in every direction, had 
been, from the beginning, decided Whigs ; but 
there were a few on the outskirts and along the 
margin of this uninhabited region, as there were in 
every community, who, though nominally Whigs ? 
were so slack twisted that they could neither be 
" pig all the time, nor pup all the time." In other 


words, they could be very easily changed by flatter- 
ing their vanity or by presenting a moderate bribe, 
and the Tories in the "Barrens," having previously 
had acquaintance with some of these families, were 
exerting a very bad influence by visiting them in 
the night, exciting in them prejudices against their 
Whig neighbors, and offering them inducements to 
come over on the King's side ; but this proceeding 
could not be long concealed ; for those whom they 
were trying to influence had neither good sense nor 
prudence enough to keep their own secrets. Rumor, 
with her thousand tongues, began to be busy over 
the Whig settlements, every one having something 
to say, wherever they met, about the Tories in the 
" Barrens," and the influence they were exerting on 
such and such families. 

Something must be done, and, in a little time a 
troop of horsemen were ready to go in pursuit ; but 
no one knew just where to look for them. To ven- 
ture into that wilderness, at night and without a 
guide, seemed to be very uncertain business, and no 
definite information, as to their whereabouts, had 
yet been obtained ; but there was a kind of vague 
rumor that they were in the south-east part of the 
"barrens," and it was supposed that McBride's 
family would be more likely than any other to give 
them the desired information. Accordingly they 
took up the line of march for his house and arrived 
there some time after dark. McBride himself was 
of course, from home ; but his wife and daughter 
Maggy, with the younger children, were there. 
Riding up to the gate, the captain called, and Mrs. 


McBride going to the door, asked what they wanted. 
To this no direct answer was given ; but he remarked, 
if he was not mistaken they were Whigs, good and 
true, and that he might consider himself as talking 
to friends. Certainly, she said, and, if he was a 
Whig he had nothing to fear on that score. He then 
asked her if there was any person in the house or 
on the premises who was disposed to favor the 
Tories ? and she replied that if there was she was 
not aware of it. Again, he asked if she knew 
whether there was a Tory camp any where in the 
" Piney Woods?" and she told him that she had 
understood so. How for to the place, was the next 
inquiry, and the answer was, about two miles. He 
then asked if she could give him such directions 
that he could find the road, adding that he wanted 
to get there as soon as possible and see if he could 
not teach them better than to come and make their 
quarters in a Whig region. She told him she could 
try ; but, as it was only a path or bye-way, inter- 
sected by other paths, and had several forks branch- 
ing off in different directions, it would be difficult 
to find especially in the night. However, she went 
on to give him the best direction she could ; and as 
she proceeded he was often interrupting her to ask 
for explanations or repetitions so as to get every 
thing well fixed in his mind. 

During this time, little Maggy was standing at her 
mother's elbow, a little back and off to one side, just 
far enough to have a full view of the men at the 
gate ; and, in her anxiety for the success of the en- 
terprise, with hardly a thought of what she was 


doing, occasionally added a word, by way of caution, 
or for the purpose of preventing mistakes ; but what 
she had to say was directed to her mother. When- 
ever she thought her mother was not exactly correct 
or not sufficiently explicit, she would say, "Mother, 
you know that at the fork, on the top of the hill be- 
yond our branch, there is another left hand path 
going up into the Butter road, and Squire Gorrell's, 
they might take that. Then, at the next fork, would 
it not be better for them to keep the left hand until 
they pass a black-jack glade, and then take the 
right ? It's a better road and will be more easily 
found." At length, the Captain, observing how 
much interest she took in the matter, said to her, 
with a great deal of courtesy, and in his kindest 
manner, " Well, now, my little Miss, couldn't you 
go along to show us the way?" Such a proposal 
rather startled her at first ; and, after a pause, during 
which her active mind, with electric quickness, was 
busied with the reasons why she should not consent, 
just as all ladies instinctively weigh every objection 
before they ever think of any thing in favor of a 
proposal, she said it would not be proper for a young 
girl like her to go off in the night with a company 
of men who were perfect strangers to her. Then, if 
they should find the Tories and get to fighting — 
what could she do? How would she get home? 
and what would be the consequence, or what would 
be said over the country, if it should become known, 
that she had conducted a company of Whigs to the 
Tory camp in the night ? These considerations 
would have determined her to stay at home ; but the 


Captain seeing that she was half inclined to go, and 
was kept back only by her modesty or sense of pro- 
priety, renewed his request and pressed the matter, 
by telling her how much it would be for the credit 
as well as for the peace of the neighborhood to have 
them driven out ; how anxious he was to find their 
camp that night, as he had come all the way for the 
purpose ; and by assuring her that she should neither 
suffer any harm nor be subjected to any reproach 
for such a step. She finally consented and said, she 
reckoned she could go ; but they must promise her 
first that they would not fire on the Tories until she 
got out of sight ; for if they should ever find out 
that she had conducted a troop of Whigs to their 
camp, they would be certain to kill her. The Cap- 
tain, knowing very well that, if he could surprise 
them in their camp before they were aware of his 
approach, they would not be likely to trouble her 
or any body else in that region, told her, Very 
well, he would see to that, and she need be under no 
apprehensions of injury from them. 

The arrangement made was for her to ride behind 
him on his horse until they came in sight of the 
place, when she was to take the back track herself; 
for it would be out of the question for him to take 
care of her in the melee of battle and in the dark- 
ness of the night ; but her resolution was adequate 
to anything, when so much was at stake, and when 
she saw that her services were of so much impor- 
tance. Without further delay, therefore, she put on her 
bonnet, stepped up on the low fence before the door 
and jumping on behind the Captain, they all dashed 


off at half speed. She had not seen the encamp- 
ment, nor had she been nearer to it than her father's 
house. She would have gone as readily towards a 
den of wolves ; but, some how or other she had 
learned where it was and knew the place perfectly 
well, for she had been there many a time when 
hunting the cows in the summer evenings with the 
younger children, and had always admired it as a 
place so cool, retired and silent that one might 
dream of love as much as he pleased or give full 
play to the imagination on any subject without 

When they had got so near that the sound of the 
horses' feet might be heard at the encampment they 
reined up and went with as much silence as possible- 
As they drew near, Maggy was straining her neck 
and looking over the Captain's shoulder to get a 
glimpse of the once pleasant but now hated spot. 
Presently she exclaimed, " Yonder they are," and 
jumped to the ground. Then, taking the back track 
with the lightness of a gazelle, she never relaxed her 
efforts until she found herself again at home, all 
safe and well pleased with what she had dtfne. But 
as soon as she alighted from the horse, the men 
all dashed forward at fall speed and surrounding the 
camp to the utter surprise and confusion of their 
enemies, gave them a full broadside as the first 

Poor Maggy had not run many rods until she 
heard the report of some twenty or thirty pistols 
and the clashing of swords, mingled with the shouts 
of the assailants and the cries of the assailed, but 


this only served to accelerate her speed. It was 
like giving her wings and a favoring breeze in the 
direction of home. On entering the house, with an 
exulting heart and panting for breath, her first 
utterance was, " Well, mother, those miserable 
Tories have got a lesson to-night which they will 
not soon forget, and I hope they will no longer be 
a pest and a reproach to the country," " Why, my 
daughter, you didn't stay to see what was done?" 
" Why, mother, as soon as we came in sight, I 
jumped down and started back as hard as I could, 
but I had come a very little distance — it didn't 
seem to be a minute — 'till I heard ever so many 
guns, and then such slashing and hallooing, — you 
never heard the like. I just know the ugly things 
are used up, and we shall now be clear of them. 
Well, I do feel sorry for them after all — really 
sorry. Just think how they will be cut up and run 
off like as many sheep-killing dogs ; but then they 
had no business to be Tories. If they are so mean 
and pusillanimous that they want to be slaves or 
foot-pads to King George, let them not stay here 
and try to make us as degraded as themselves, but 
go to his own country and serve him there. We 
have no use for them here and I am so glad they 
are gone." And Maggy was right in her conjec- 
ture; for in a very few minutes, they were used up, 
sure enough, being either killed or put to flight ; 
and the "Pine Barrens" of Guilford were no more 
infested with such vermin. 

In a few years after the close of the war, Miss 
Maggy consented to change her name, as in duty 


bound to do ; and having become a wife, and pro- 
mised obedience to her husband, she was borne 
away from the home of her youth with the tide of 
westward emigration. What good or bad fortune 
fell to her lot in the far West, we have not learned, 
but have no doubt that she spent many a pleasant 
hour in thinking of the night when she conducted a 
troop of Whigs to the Tory camp in the " Pine 
Barrens" of Old Guilford, and we hope that she had 
at least a competent share in the prosperity and 
happiness which have been everywhere and so 
increasingly enjoyed as the result of that freedom 
and independence which were so much the object 
of her youthful aspirations. 

The face of these " Barrens," has been very much 
changed since the days of " Auld lang syne" and, 
so far as appearance is concerned, greatly for the 
worse. The hunting and hay-making, the copses 
and jungles, the fragrance of flowers and the music 
of birds have all passed away like the airy fabric 
of a vision ; over a great part of the territory a 
different growth of timber has sprung up, more 
dense, and more useful, perhaps, but not so lofty or 
so imposing in its appearance ; every where you 
may see evidence of desolation, or rather of transi- 
tion — old pine logs decaying and stript of their 
bark, lying cross and pile in every direction, and 
staring you in the face with as much deformity and 
grimace as if they were relicts of Noah's flood ; and 
in many places, where once the tall waving grass 
and brilliant flowers, blooming in all the wild fra- 
grance of nature, seemed to form one grand parterre^ 


you now see only briers and brambles and old sedge 
grass ; but amidst it all, there are already symptoms 
of a brighter day. Here and there you find com- 
fortable dwellings and contented families, more 
inviting than pine groves or vine-clad bowers. The 
voice of the bridegroom and the bride is heard, more 
joyous than the carols of birds or the excitements 
of the chase; and under the hand of industry, with 
a spirit of enterprise, and guided by science, golden 
harvests may soon wave over all the present desola- 
tions, and the whole become as "a well watered 
garden." Through the very midst of this territory, 
where, only two or three generations ago, the wild 
Indian roamed in quest of game, or made the 
frightful war-whoop ring over hill and dale, the 
great Central Eailroad has taken its course ; and 
already that terrible monster, the iron horse, is 
daily rushing along in all his fury, bearing, as on 
the wings of the wind, the impatient lover to his 
destined goal, and the plodding merchant to the 
place of his gains, and ten thousand others, of both 
sexes and of all ages, with their respective aims and 
ends to be accomplished. 

Mrs. Martha Bell. 

If mind is essentially active, as all admit, its 
achievements must be in proportion to its vigor; 
and all its developments will be modified by the 
circumstances in which it is placed. Superiority of 
intellect, whether in man or woman, generally be- 
comes manifest by the control which it has over 


other minds, and by the result of its action, whether 
of a selfish or a beneficient kind. Intellectual 
powers of a high order, when under the influence 
of selfish or malignant passions, are productive only 
of evil ; but when controlled in their operation by 
integrity, patriotism, generosity and all the nobler 
qualities of the heart, their possessor becomes a 
benefactor to his race, and secures the gratitude and 
veneration of prosperity. 

There is perhaps as great a diversity of intel- 
lectual and moral qualities among women as among 
men ; and extraordinary endowments of both, 
united in the same individual, are probably about 
as frequent on the one side as on the other. The 
circumstances may not be always as favorable for 
their development ; but wherever superior intelli- 
gence and moral worth exist they ought to be 
acknowledged, and wherever important services 
have been rendered to the cause of truth and 
humanity, they ought to be remembered. 

It is believed that there were as many females in 
the Old North State as in any other, who, for their 
sacrifices, their sufferings, and their patriotic ser- 
vices, deserve an honorable notice in history, as in 
any one of the " Old Thirteen ;" and among the 
number was the lady whose name we have placed 
at the head of this article. The information we 
have respecting her is not only limited and defec- 
tive, but is becoming every year more slender and 
unreliable. Those who knew her during the active 
part of her life, have all, with one or two exceptions, 
already gone to that "bourne from whence no tra- 


veller returns;" but most of the facts contained in 
the following sketch were obtained by the writer a 
number of years ago, from old people in her neigh- 
borhood, some of whom had known her most of her 
life, and others had become acqauinted with her only 
a few years after the revolutionary war. They 
may, therefore, be regarded as, in the main, true 
and reliable. 

She was born and raised in the south side of 
Orange, or probably of what is now Alamance 
county ; but the precise spot is not known with any 
degree of certainty, Her maiden name was Mc- 
Farlane, and, from this alone, it might be inferred 
that she was of Scotch or of Scotch-Irish descent. 
Some eight or ten years before the Revolutionary 
war, though the precise date is not recollected, she 
married Col. John McGee, a young widower with 
two children, and in affluent circumstances. lie 
lived on the waters of Sandy Creek, in the north. 
side of Randolph county, where he owned large 
quantities of valuable land, mill, &c. He also kept 
a country store and was a man of more business 
than any other in that part of the country. About 
the beginning of the Avar, or soon after, he died 
and she was left a widow with five children, three 
sons and two daughters. Two of her sons became 
preachers, one a Presbyterian, the other a Methodist ; 
and all her children became members of the church, 
some in one and some in another of the different 
denominations then in the country. Her second 
son, William McGee, became a Prcsb} T terinn, and 


was one of those who composed the Cumberland 
Presbytery at its organization. 

After the death of her husband, being the richest 
widow any where in that region, she was much 
sought after, especially by the young widowers and 
middle-aged bachelors; and it was then said that 
she was " a little haughty," but this probably origi- 
nated with those who could not succeed in gaining 
her affections. 

On the 6th of May, 1779, she married William 
Bell, a widower, who owned a mill on Deep river, 
where he lived, about a mile above the ford at which 
the road, now leading from Greensboro' to Ashboro', 
crosses the river, and there was her residence for 
the remainder of her life. She was not, at any time 
remarkable for personal beauty nor for the opposite, 
but was what, in common parlance, is called " a 
good-looking woman." There was nothing about 
her that could be regarded as masculine and noth- 
ing in her deportment, ordinarily, that was at all 
inconsistent with the modesty and delicacy of her 
sex; but she was a woman of strong mind, ardent 
in her temperament and remarkably firm and reso- 
lute in whatever she undertook, which just fitted 
her for the trying scenes through which she was 
called to pass. 

Strong in her attachments, and equally so in her 
dislikes, there could be no better friend, and no 
more undesirable enemy ; but there was no woman 
in the country who sustained a better character, or 
who was more respected by all the better part of 
the community. High-minded, conscious of her 


integrity, and inflexible in her adherence to what 
she believed to be right, she seemed to fear nothing 
on earth except her Maker, and to desire nothing 
so much as the universal prevalence of peace and 
freedom, truth and righteousness. Although she 
was not at this time a professor of religion, no 
allurements could make her swerve from the path 
of duty, and no menaces could terrify her into a 
compliance with what was wrong. No matter how 
great at any time were the perplexities or the perils 
of her situation, her presence of mind never forsook 
her, and she was never at a loss for expedients. 
Her firmness and her energy were adequate to 
every emergency ; and on every occasion of suffer- 
ing or of clanger, though death seemed to stare 
her in the face, she always came off triumphant. 

" The following extract of a letter from General 
Gray of Eandolph county, gives a good view of 
Mrs. Bell's character, and will be read with interest. 
He is one of the oldest men in the country, and 
has a distinct recollection of many things which 
occurred during the Eevolutionary War, but not- 
withstanding his advanced age, his mental faculties 
are very little, if at all, impaired. For intelligence, 
probity and consistency of christian character, no 
man stands higher in the community ; and as he 
writes, in this case, from personal acquaintance, his 
statements are perfectly reliable. The letter, which 
is dated Feb. 24th, 1854, was written at my request, 
and as it contains two or three other facts of 
interest, we shall recur to it again ; but for the 
present, we give only the part which is confirm- 


atory of the statements above made. After observ- 
ing that he writes in compliance with my request, 
he says : 

"I removed to Kandolph Court House in the 
Spring of 1792, in the immediate vicinity of which 
Mrs. Bell, and the most of the Whigs of that 
county who had taken part in the war, resided ; 
and from them I received all the information I am 
able to give you. Those who lived in the south 
and eastern parts of the county were mostly Tories, 
under the control of Colonel Fanning, or remained 
neutral from fear of him. Mr. Bell and his lady 
were both true friends to the cause of their country, 
and treated those who were engaged in its defence 
with the greatest kindness, friendship and hospi- 
tality ; but the name of a Tory they despised ; and 
if they ever prayed for them, I think it must have 
been such a prayer as David made in the 109th 

" Mrs. Bell was much esteemed by those who 
knew her. She had a tender feeling for the sick 
and afflicted, administered to their wants, and, by 
her medical skill and attention, relieved many with- 
out fee or reward. She was a woman of strong 
mind, good understanding and invincible spirit. 
Alarms that would throw other females into fits only 
stimulated her to greater exertion both of body and 
mind ; and often without a moment's reflection, she 
would point out what ought to be clone, which 
seldom failed to answer the purpose and give the 
necessary relief." 

In proof that the above statements respecting her 


character are not exaggerated or overwrought, we 
shall give a few incidents of her life, but without 
attempting a strict adherence to chronological order ; 
for at this distance of time, the precise dates and 
order of events could not be ascertained with entire 

After the death of her first husband, she carried 
on the whole of his business, farming, merchan- 
dising, etc., just as he had been doing. His farming 
operations were quite extensive for a new settler, 
and, in the store, he was obliged to barter a great 
deal, by exchanging goods for deer skins, furs, flax- 
seed, beeswax and such articles as would bear car- 
riage. When he wanted a supply of goods he took 
his produce to Petersburg in wagons ; and thus, 
with a little money in addition, he laid in his supply. 
When the time came, loading his own wagon, and 
as many others as were necessary, he went along 
with them, on horseback, keeping with the wagons 
through the day, and lodging in some house at 
night. Having incidentally learned from him, 
during his life time, the names of all his lodging 
places on the road, when the time came to recruit 
her stock of goods, she set off on her first trading 
expedition and found no difficulty either on her way 
thither or in making her purchases ; but after leav- 
ing Petersburg on her return, it commenced snowing 
early in the day ; and she concluded to leave the 
wagons and get out of the snow as soon as possible. 

For a number of miles, a whole day's journey, the 
road lay through a very barren country, in which 
there was not a house of any description, and the 


only growth of timber was that of the pine. The 
storm increased and the snow fell so rapidly that, in 
a little time the ground was completely covered and 
the road could not be distinguished. The sun could 
not be seen, she had traveled the route only once, 
and the snow was whirling about in every direction, 
driving in her face and blinding her until she could 
have no idea of the course and became completely 
lost; but, having learned, by some means or other, 
that the largest and heaviest limbs of the pine tree 
are always on the south side, she took that for her 
guide ; and without going much out of her way, 
she arrived at her destined place of lodging, in 
good time and without having experienced any 
other inconvenience than that of a cold and disa- 
greeable ride. 

From the very commencement of the contest with 
England, she espoused the cause of independence 
with her whole soul ; and she was so decided in her 
opinions, and so ardent in her zeal, that she could 
hardly bear the sight, or even the name of a Tory. 
In some respects she was equal, if not more than 
equal, to Flora M 'Donald, for she certainly had as 
much native intellect, with as much firmness and 
intrepidity ; she was as sincere and devoted in her 
attachments; and in the same circumstances, or 
with the same advantages of education and refined 
society, in her youth, she would have been equally 
conspicuous and renowned. 

As she had more of that kind of information 
which always belongs to mental power of a superior 
order, and was regarded as being better qualified 


than any other, to be useful, she found it necessary 
to become a sort of " professional character," and 
had a very extensive practice in her line of busi- 
ness. For several years, however, her services 
were all gratuitous, and no one could insult her 
more highly than by offering her pay ; but towards 
the close of the war, when she became more re- 
duced in her circumstances by the thefts, robberies, 
and depredations of the British and Tories, though 
she was never dependent, she began to make a 
regular charge, which was then continued while she 
lived, not only for this reason, but because her ser- 
vices became too much in demand to be gratuitous. 

At that period, and in such a state of things as 
then existed, it was hazardous for a woman to go, 
alone and unprotected, any distance from home ; 
for the country was broken, and not very thickly 
settled, the roads were bad, and perfect anarchy 
and confusion reigned over the land, with all the 
animosity, virulence, and recklessness of life, and 
everything else that usually attend a state of civil 
Avar. Probably there was no other woman who 
would have ventured as she did ; but she was not 
to be deterred from the discharge of her duty by 
any difficulties or perils that might beset her path. 
No matter at what hour of the night the call was 
made, nor to what distance she was required to go, 
mounted on a noble horse, as she always was, and 
well armed with dirk and pistols, she promptly 
obeyed the summons. 

During the troublous times of the revolution, 
and for a few years after, it is said that she was oc- 


casionalfy insulted and by such desperate characters, 
that her self-possession and her dauntless courage, 
alone saved her from degradation, if not from 
death ; but she always maintained her consistency 
of character, and always came off triumphant. We 
are not going into a minute detail of the incidents 
in her eventful life ; but aim to give those which 
were most prominent, or which will best serve to 
illustrate her character. 

Towards the close of the war, or soon after, when 
going one day along an unfrequented road, on a 
call of professional duty, she was met by a man 
whose name was Stephen Lewis, generally called 
Steve Lewis, a man who had belonged to Fanning's 
Corps, and was a perfect desperado, a man whom 
everybody dreaded, and who was outlawed by pub- 
lic sentiment, if not by civil authority. According 
to the uniform tradition of the neighborhood, when 
he saw her coming, he dismounted and hitched his 
horse, set his gun against a tree and stepped into 
the middle of the road. As she came up, he took 
her horse by the bridle and told her she must get 
down, but she drew her pistol, and presenting it to 
his breast, told him if he moved another step she 
would kill him on the spot. It is not in woman's 
nature to kill any one, but especially a man, to 
whom she instinctively looks for support and pro- 
tection. She must be divested of all the kind and 
generous feelings of her nature before he can do 
it, unless it is from dire necessit}^, or in defence 
of her life or honor, and not one in a thousand, 
perhaps, could have the resolution to do it even then, 


else Mrs. Bell would have killed Steve Lewis on 
that occasion, and would have received a public vote 
of thanks for so doing, but she was content with 
taking him prisoner ; and it is said, that she actually 
drove him home before her, holding the pistol in 
her hand all the way, and ready to fire on him at 
any time, if necessary. As there was no man there, 
however, at the time, to take him in charge, he was 
permitted to escape, but ultimately came to an end 
quite as dishonorable as if she had shot him down 
in the road or before her own door. This account 
I had, a number of years ago, from different persons, 
whose opportunities of knowing had been good ; 
and although the circumstances were differently 
related, and may have been a little exaggerated, the 
main facts are believed to have been true. There 
were several brothers by the name of Lewis, most 
of them were of the same character, but Steve was 
the most reckless and daring. Of a muscular frame 
and a vigorous constitution, destitute of religious 
culture or moral principle, and enured for years to 
scenes of blood and cruelty, he was a disgrace to 
humanity, and a terror to the neighborhood ; but if 
he escaped death in one way he soon met it in 
another, for he was shot in his own house, and by 
his own brother, to whom he had already done some 
injury, and whose life he had threatened. 

We have heard of one or two instances, during 
those disordered times, in which men of no principles 
and no regard to decency or propriety, did things 
which were highly provoking, and solely for the 
purpose of trying her metal. Somewhere in that 


region, there lived a man by the name of William 
Yorke, who was such a desperate character that, bad 
as the times were, he was generally known by the 
name of devil Bill. He came to her house one even- 
ing and asked for lodgings. Although she knew him 
"by sight," and better by character, she consented, 
after some hesitation, to take him in. Then, as every 
where else, at that period, the houses were generally 
small log houses, with one room below and one 
above — the one below being u,sed for a common 
sleeping as well as a common sitting room, and the 
one above serving as a sleeping apartment for the 
children or young members of the family. On re- 
tiring to bed, either out of devilment, or, thinking 
that, from his well-known character, she would not 
dare even to reprove him, he got into bed with his 
boots on ; and she ordered him out, remarking at 
the same time that, if he conducted with propriety, 
he could stay, but that he could not remain in her 
house and act in any such way. On his refusing to 
obey the order, she presented her pistol and was 
about to lodge the contents of it in his body; but 
when he saw that she was in earnest, he concluded, 
for once, that "discretion was the better part of 
valor," and was soon beyond the reach of pistol 

After the Guilford battle, when the British army 
was on its way to Wilmington, it encamped, for 
about two days, at and near her house. Her house 
stood on the north side of the river, and the van of 
the army arrived there, it is said, about the middle 
of the afternoon, the main body remaining at John 


Clarke's, who lived on the adjoining plantation 
above. Lord Cornwallis, according to his custom, 
took possession of her house ; but he had been well 
informed in regard to her character, and treated her 
with much respect. During this time, as might be 
expected, a number of little incidents occurred, 
which are perhaps worth recording ; and we cannot 
do otherwise than feel some curiosity to know how 
his lordship would treat a lady of her standing, of 
whose house he had taken possession, without leave 
or license, and whose courage and firmness were at 
least equal to his own; but only a few items, of a 
reliable kind, have been preserved. Here we will 
take General Gray's account of the manner in which 
Cornwallis introduced himself; and for this purpose, 
we give from the letter already quoted, the follow- 
ing extract, which accords substantially with the 
statements of others in that neighborhood. 

" A few days after the battle of Guilford Court 
House, Cornwallis and his army arrived at Bell's 
mill, when his lordship called upon the old lady, 
and enquired of her where her husband was, to 
which she replied, ' In Greene's camp.' 

" ' Is he an officer or a soldier in the army ?' 

'"He is not; but thought it better to go to his 
friends, than to stay and fall into the hands of his 

" ' Madam, I must make your house my head- 
quarters, and have the use of your mill for a few 
days, to grind for my army while I remain here.' 

" ' Sir, you possess the power, and, of course, will 
do as you please without my consent; but, after 


using our mill, do you intend to burn it before you 
leave V 

" ' Madam, why do you ask that question ?' 

" ' Sir, answer my question first, and then I will 
answer yours in a short time.' 

" His lordship then assured her that the mill 
should not be burnt or injured ; but that he must 
use it to prepare provisioDS for his army, and further 
added, " that by making her house his head-quarters, 
he would be a protection to herself, her house, and 
everything that was in or about it; for,' said he, 
' no soldier of mine will dare to plunder, or commit 
depredations near my quarters.' 

" To which she replied: ' Now, sir, you have done 
me a favor by giving me a satisfactory answer to 
my question, and I will answer yours. Had your 
lordship said that you intended to burn our mill, I 
had intended to save you the trouble by burning it 
myself before you derived much benefit from it; 
but as you assure me that the mill shall not be 
burned, and that you will be a protection to me, 
and to the property about the house, I will make 
no further objections to your using our mill, and 
making my house your head-quarters while you 
stay, which, I think you said, would be only for a 
few days.' " 

These preliminaries being settled and strictly 
adhered to, by both parties, occasioned his lordship 
and Mrs. Bell to part on better terms than they met. 

Lord Cornwallis could not be more zealous in the 
service of King George and his monarchical govern- 
ment, than Mrs. Bell was in the cause of freedom 


and Independence ; nor could lie remain there for 
two days, with his army, without occasioning a 
number of sad or amusing incidents. A few years 
ago, two or three aged men, who still recollected 
the scenes of the revolution, and who, from having 
lived all the time in her neighborhood, had been 
well acquainted with Mrs. Bell from the time she 
took that name until her death, related to me several 
additional facts, all of which were about as illustra- 
tive of her character as the above, and some of 
which were, on other accounts, even more interest- 
ing and important to the patriot or the historian. 

Soon after entering the house, he told Mrs. Bell 
that he had annihilated Greene's army and he could 
never do him any more harm, but this was mere 
bravado, as he virtually admitted in the course of a 
few minutes. It was about the vernal equinox, and 
the clay being cold and blustering, the back or north 
door, which opened on the road leading from Mar- 
tinville to Fayetteville, was kept shut on account of 
the wind. His lordship soon opened the back door 
and stood in it for some minutes, looking up the 
road, and then returned to his seat leaving it open. 
She went and shut it, but, after a few minutes, he 
opened it again and did as before. He was evi- 
dently in trouble and restless, for he could not 
remain, for five minutes at a time, in the same posi- 
tion; for he was sometimes sitting, sometimes 
walking across the floor, and appeared to be in a 
deep study. After shutting the door again he told 
her that he wanted that door to stand open, and, 
when she asked him for the reason, he said he didn't 


know but General Greene might be coming down the 
road. " Why, sir," said she, " I thought you told 
me a little while ago that you had annihilated his 
army, and that he could do you no more harm." 
On this, his lordship heaved a sigh and replied : 
" Well, madam, to tell you the truth, I never saw 
such righting since God made me, and another such 
victory would annihilate me." If a few hundred 
Whigs, at that juncture, had promptly and reso- 
lutely offered their services to General Greene, as 
would be done now in a similar case, so that he 
could have attacked the enemy again with sufficient 
numbers, there can be no doubt that the whole army 
would have surrendered with very little resistance, 
and an almost bloodless victory would have been 
gained ; for it is well known, or has been all along 
believed, that their amunition was becoming scarce, 
that their money chest was getting low, and they 
were encumbered with a great many wounded offi- 
cers and men. 

It was very annoying to Mrs. Bell to have such 
haughty and profane men in her house and such a 
rude soldiery round about it ; but the presence of 
Lord Cornwallis protected her from any gross in- 
sult, and, id fact, none of them seemed disposed to 
treat her with as much rudeness even as they had 
treated Mrs. Caldwell and some others only a week 
before ; for they were much mortified by the results 
of the last conflict and were more occupied with 
thoughts about their own safety than any thing 
else. They took her grain, cattle, provisions, and 
whatever else they wanted, so far as I have learned, 


without compensation, and without any care for the 
distress it might occasion her family. 

Cornwallis treated her with courtesy and, no 
doubt, tried to prevent any unnecessary depreda- 
tions on her property ; but he could not be every- 
where, and soldiers are not apt to inform on each 
other. She could sometimes hear the soldiers and 
subaltern officers at a distance cursing her for a 
rebel and uttering their denunciations ; but all this 
she could bear in view of the certain and glorious 
triumph which she anticipated. Confident of ulti- 
mate success, she could neither be bribed nor fright- 
ened into an abandonment of her principles ; and if 
her life had been at stake, she would have main- 
tained her dignity and her firmness to the last. 

As one of the men was riding, at a rapid gait by 
the door in which she was standing, for the purpose 
of watering his horse in the river, he uttered some 
profane or insulting language ; and she said she did 
wish the horse would throw him and break his neck. 
In two or three minutes she had her wish, for as he 
was recklessly dashing down the hill to the river, 
the horse stumbled and fell, which threw the rider 
over his neck, head foremost on some rocks, and he 
was killed on the spot. 

Having been duly apprised of their coming, and 
being well aware of their rapacity and recklessness, 
she had taken what measures she could to secure 
such articles as she deemed of most value and could 
not remove to any great distance, particularly her 
cash and her bacon. The latter of which articles 
she had taken over the river and hid among some 


rocks where it was supposed no body would ever 
think of looking, or could find it without a guide. 
The money she hid nncler a large rock about the 
house. This was all in specie — mostly in guineas and 
half Jos, and this being of more value than any thing 
else that they would be likely to get, was the object 
of her greatest solicitude. This she had hid nnder 
a large rock which formed the bottom step to the 
door. The rock was so large that she could just 
pry up one side of it ; and, having made a small 
hole in the ground in which she deposited her trea- 
sure, she let the rock down again in its former 
position. Then she did not expect that the army 
or any portion of it would be so near to the honse ; 
but to her great surprise they were all the time 
passing over it. It had been for some time a com- 
mon expedient with the people over the country, 
especially with the Whigs, to hide their treasure 
under rocks or to bury it in the ground, and, as she 
was well aware the British had not only learned 
this fact from the Tories, but how to search for it. 
By some means or other, accident or design, the 
rock would probably be removed ; and then all her 
cash, the earnings of a laborious practice for years, 
would not only be lost to her, but would go to feed 
and clothe her mortal enemies. 

By a woman of her spirit, this could not be 
borne with patience ; and she was resolved that it 
should not be lost without an effort to place it out 
of clanger. For this purpose, she went deliberately 
into the camp, under the pretext of making some 
request, or of lodging a complaint for misdemean- 


ors on the part of the soldiers; and, having trans- 
acted that matter, whatever it was, she walked 
about in a careless manner, as if to gratify an idle 
curiosity, in looking at the tents, until they all be- 
came engaged in some other way, and their atten- 
tion was turned to something else. Then, going up 
to the place, she raised a side of the rock, took out 
her money, and returned into the house, without 
attracting their notice, or exciting the least suspi- 

At this time, and for several years previous, they 
had a man employed to attend their mill, by the 
name of Stephen Harlin, who was a good miller, 
but proved to be a miserable scamp of a Tory. 
Besides letting the British have grain or meal out 
of the mill, he told them where the bacon hams 
were hid, and thus they got the whole of them. He 
also told them that there was a quantity of very 
good cider in the cellar, and they determined to 
have that at all events. Accordingly, they went to 
her, and told her that they wanted the cider ; but 
she told them promptly and positively, that it was 
for her own use, and that they could not have it. 
They swore they would have it, any how; and 
started towards the cellar door, with the intention 
of bursting it open ; but she got between them and 
the door, and, standing with her back against it, 
she told them, with a firm tone, and with a calm, 
dignified countenance, that they could not get in 
there without treating her as no gentleman and no 
soldier of true courage would ever treat a woman. 
Thus she overawed them or shamed them out of 


their purpose, and saved her cider ; but she had no 
more use for Harlin. An old friend, who, living 
always in that neighborhood, within a few miles of 
the mill, had some recollection of those times, and 
who gave me the above facts a few years ago, told 
me, that as he was a good miller, she let him remain 
until she could get another who had the confidence 
of the public; but that she never spoke to him 
afterwards. General Gray, however, whose recol- 
lection is probably better, says, that "as soon as 
the army was gone, Mrs. Bell dismissed her miller, 
Stephen Harlin, because he threw up his hat and 
hurra' d for King George when they arrived." His 
shouting " Hurra for King George," was abundantly 
sufficient to insure his dismission from her employ ; 
but we have no doubt that he was also guilty of 
the other acts of meanness above mentioned; and 
we presume that she dismissed him at once, without 
hesitation, or an anxious thought for the future. 

In the evening of the day on which the British 
left her premises, she made a visit to their camp, for 
the purpose, it is said, of reconnoitering, but under 
some other pretext. What was her precise object, 
or what induced her to engage in the enterprise, no 
definite or reliable information can now be obtained; 
but the tradition has been so uniform and so well 
sustained, that there can be no doubt of the fact. 
Probably she was induced to make this visit to the 
camp of the enemy at the suggestion of Colonel Lee, 
or at least for his satisfaction. He and Colonel 
Washington were now hanging on the rear of the 
British, harassing their foraging parties and cutting 


off stragglers. As General Greene was making pre- 
paration to pursue his retreating foe, it was impor- 
tant that he should obtain speedy and certain 
information respecting their condition and move- 
ments, and whatever these enterprising officers 
learned was soon communicated. The army, 
crippled as it was, pressed with the difficulty of 
getting provisions, and encumbered with a large 
number of wounded officers and soldiers, moved 
very slowly. Although he had left all the soldiers 
and subaltern officers, who were too badly wounded 
to be removed, at New Garden, trusting to the 
humanity of General Greene and the Quakers, he 
still had a great many with him, who could not bear 
long or rapid journeys, and who, notwithstanding 
all the care that could be taken of them, were dying 
all along the road. After leaving Bell's premises 
they went only a few miles to the plantation of Mr. 
Walker, who lived on Sandy creek, and there took 
up camp for the night. 

That Colonel Lee was at Bell's on the same clay 
that the British left, and that he was well acquainted 
with Mrs. Bell's character, there is no doubt ; her 
familiarity with every road and every bye-path, 
with every plantation and hill and dale, in addition 
to her patriotism and intrepidity, just fitted her for 
such an enterprise ; and she would be in no danger, 
for Cornwallis, having been so lately sheltered 
under her roof, could not do otherwise than treat 
her with courtesy and respect. Some say she put 
on the military uniform or regimentals of her hus- 
band, who was or had been a militia-captain, but 


tliis was probably an addition "by a later band." 
At all events, as sbe never went from borne at tbis 
period, witbont being well armed witb dirk and 
pistols, we may rely on tbe tradition tbat sbe wore 
ber customary armor on tbe present occasion. Tbus 
equipped and mounted on a first-rate borse, sbe set 
off alone and fulfilled ber mission witb entire suc- 
cess. Tbe object, was to ascertain, as far as possible, 
tbe condition of tbe Britisb army, and especially 
wbetber tbey were receiving any considerable acces- 
sions of Tories. Under tbe pretext of making 
complaint against tbe soldiers for depredations 
committed on ber property, wbicb bad not become 
known to ber until after tbey were gone, sbe went 
into tbe camp and bunted up bis lordsbip or re- 
quested to be taken to bis tent, to wbom sbe made 
ber complaint, but in doing tbis sbe bad ber eye 
upon everytbing, and managed so as to get tbe 
information sbe wanted, wben sbe returned borne 
in safety and mucb pleased witb wbat sbe bad 

Wbile Col. Lee was in tbis neigbborbood be 
captured two young men, William Julien and Wil- 
liam Troglen, wbo wbere botb Tories. One of 
wbom is said not to bave been very smart, and tbe 
cbildren bad, sbortly before, stuck a red patcb on 
bis bat as a badge tbat be was for tbe Britisb ; but 
tbey were, botb of tbem, known and avowed loyal- 
ists. Wben taken, and told tbat tbey must die, 
tbey entreated tbat tbey migbt be taken to Mrs. 
Bell ; and, as it was not far to ber house, tbey were 
gratified. Wben tbere tbey begged ber most ear- 


nestly to intercede for their life, saying "}^ou know 
ns, Mrs. Bell ;" but the only reply she made was, 
"I know yon not;" and all she said to Col. Lee, 
was, that he must not put them to death in her 
house. As they were taking them off to some dis- 
tance from the house for execution, Troglen broke 
away and by a desperate effort, or by good luck, or 
both, made his escape, though several pistols were 
fired at him ; but Julien was shot. Her refusal to 
intercede for these unfortunate young men was not 
owing to any want of human feeling, as I was told, 
but to some previous conduct on their part which 
had impressed her with the belief that they ought 
not to live. She is said to have been a woman of 
as much tenderness of feeling as any other ; but her 
sensibilities were in an unusual degree, in subordi- 
nation to her principles, and under the control of a 
sound and vigorous intellect. 

When a party, either of Col. Lee's men, or of 
some other corps, were out foraging in the neigh- 
borhood of Bell's, on the plantation of Joe Clarke, 
a man, by the name of Eobbins, concealed himself 
in a thicket of bushes and shot Cap. Cruikshanks 
who had command of the company. Cruikshanks 
was, with the the whole corps, a great favorite, and 
the men were so enraged that they instantly fell 
upon Eobbins, and cut and hacked him about the 
head until they felt certain that he was dead ; but 
he must have had an unusually hard head, or like 
the cat, "nine lives;'' for he recovered and lived 
many years. This was in the evening, and next 
day he crawled on his hands and knees to Bell's 


house which was distant about a mile. There are 
two different accounts of the manner in which she 
treated him ; but they are not contradictory. The 
old Friend in the neighborhood, who has been 
already mentioned, told me that she had compassion 
on him and dressed his wounds, gave him refresh- 
ment and took care of him until he was able to take 
care of himself, which was at a time when her hus- 
band could not sleep a night in his own house 
without the risk of being assassinated by Eobbins 
and other Tories ; but others say that she would not 
do anything for him, nor even admit him into her 
house or so much as notice him. Such was pro- 
bably her treatment of him at first ; but on con- 
sidering his miserable condition, she may have 
relented and treated him with more kindness. 

In the midst of these transactions or in near 
connection with them, though the precise date is 
not recollected, she engaged in another enterprise, 
more difficult and adventurous, perhaps, than that 
of recoDnoitering the British camp. She rode one 
night, the whole night, in company with a Whig as 
a spy, or rather for the purpose of getting informa- 
tion respecting an embodiment of Tories, which 
was said to be forming on the other side of the 
river, and some fourteen miles from her house, in 
a west or south-west direction. The undertaking 
was both toilsome and perilous ; for the distance was 
considerable and the roads were bad ; the country 
was broken, and abounded with robbers and cut- 
throats. "She went," my correspondent says, "in 
the character of a midwife ;" and when they met 


any one or came to a house, she was " spokesman," 
and did all the talking. She first enquired the 
road to such a place, and always managed to 
have it understood, directly or indirectly, on what 
business she was going. Her next enquiries were 
directed more to the object she had in view, such as, 
Were there any royalists embodying in that direc- 
tion ? Where was their place of meeting ? How 
far was it? What was their number? What were 
they going to do ? Would they molest her ? In 
most cases she got a satisfactory answer ; and to the 
last, generally received the reply, "0 no, not when 
you are on that business." Being acquainted with 
the roads, she changed her course according to the 
information she got, still pretending to be in great 
haste, and fearing she would be too late. Thus she 
went as far as she intended, got all the information 
she desired or expected, and returned home early 
in the morning, having rode in the course of the 
night, about thirty miles. Soon after the writer 
came into the country, he was told that in conse- 
quence of the information thus obtained, Col. Lee 
went the next night, took them by surprise, and 
broke up the whole concern. A few years ago, 
some old Quakers — friends before referred to — who 
had lived all their lives in that neighborhood, and 
still recollected those times, told me that although 
they had forgotten the dates and the minute circum- 
stances, they well recollected the fact of her going 
to reconnoitre the British camp, and also the one 
which has just been related. Both of them are still 
current traditions in the neighborhood ; and there 


can be no doubt that they are substantially true. 
They are in keeping with the rest of her history, 
and are honorable to her character. 

In the course of the ensuing summer, the Tories, 
who, in that region at least, cared more for plunder 
than for King George or any body else, were very 
troublesome and often attacked her house, sparing 
nothing that they could destroy or carry away and 
attempting, more than once, to murder some of the 
family. They burned the barn one night, with 
every thing in it ; and when her sons, who were not 
yet grown, mere boys, in fact, attempted to preserve 
the property from destruction, they wounded one of 
them, and threatened to shoot them every one, 
which, it is supposed, would have been the result if 
they had persisted. This class of the population, 
or a large portion of them, appear to have been 
perfectly reckless, caring neither for the rights of 
justice, nor the claims of humanity; and they seem 
to have had a particular spite at Mr. Bell and his 
family on account of their influence, and of the very 
decided part which they had taken in the cause of 

When Mrs. Bell's aged father was there on a 
visit, and was spending a short time with his daugh- 
ter and grand-children, a number of them came one 
night, and, among other outrages, were about to 
take his life. As it was known in the neighborhood 
that he was there, it was supposed that to murder 
him was their main design in coming, and one or 
two, approaching him with drawn swords, were 
about to imbrue their hands in his blood. For 


some reason, not now recollected, she did not have 
her pistols by her, or thought it more expedient to 
adopt another plan. There was no time to devise 
measures nor even to walk across the room in search 
of weapons, and with her characteristic presence of 
mind and promptness of action, she did not attempt 
it ; but, seizing a broad-axe which, very fortunately 
happened to be at hand, and raising that over her 
head, tightly grasped with both hands, she said to ■* 
them, in the most positive manner, and with a 
sternness which was irresistible, "If one of }^ou 
touches him I'll split you down with this axe. 
Touch him if you dare I" and she would certainly 
have done it, regardless of consequences, if the 
attempt had been made; but being overawed, or 
feeling convinced by her whole demeanor, the 
dauntless expresssion of her countenance, her atti- 
tude of defiance, and the earnest tones of her voice, 
that she would do what she said, they stood for a 
moment, abashed, confounded, and then left the 
house. Thus, by her fearlessness and decision of 
character, her uncommon energy and promptness of 
action, she saved the life of a venerable and beloved 
parent, and showed that she was no less affectionate 
as a daughter, than she was ardent and patriotic as 
a citizen. If "woman's courage does not always 
begin where man's courage fails," it becomes most 
conspicuous and efficient in those circumstances in 
which man is unnerved, and at his wit's end. 

During the summer of 1781, Mr. Bell went to the 
North, but whether on public or private business, is 
not known to the writer. In the fall he returned 


and ventured to remain, for a short time, with his 
family. The Tories were soon aware of his return, 
and went there one night with the intention of 
taking his life. The doors were fastened so that 
they could not readily enter ; but this gave them 
no concern whatever, for they were rather gratified 
than otherwise with a plea for setting the house on 
fire. In that case, if he attempted to run they 
intended to shoot him, at all events, and perhaps 
some of his stepsons. As they were passing round 
the house, Mr. Bell put his head out of a window, 
intending, if he saw any of them bringing fire, or in 
the act of applying it to the house, to shoot them 
with his pistol, but one of them who happened to 
be close by the window at the time, struck him on 
the head with his sword and inflicted a severe 
wound, but did not kill him as he aimed to do. 
Mrs. Bell then called to her sons, lads yet only in 
their teens, who were up stairs in bed, to get the old 
musket and be ready to fire out of the windows. 
Then going to the window next to the kitchen and 
calling their servant boy, Peter, loud enough for 
the men on the outside of the house to hear, and 
intending that they should hear, she said to him, 
" Eun as hard as you can to Jo. Clarke's and tell 
him and the light-horse to come as quickly as pos- 
sible, for the Tories are here." Clarke was one of 
her nearest neighbors, and a resolute man. He lived 
on the adjoining plantation, about a mile up the 
river, and generally at this period, had a troop of 
mounted men, who, though not always with him, 
nor on duty, were at his command. At this time 


she knew no more than they did, whether Clarke's 
men were there or not, but from the confident and 
earnest manner in which she spoke to the servant, 
they supposed it must be so, and fearing that the 
old musket might tell upon some of them from the 
upper window, or that Jo. Clarke with his " light- 
horse" might take them by surprise, or perhaps, 
apprehensive of both, though they had the fire 
ready to apply, they dropped everything and made 
their escape. 

Finding it as unsafe as ever to remain in his own 
house, especially at night, when their depredations 
and deeds of atrocity were usually committed, Mr. 
Bell did not venture to lodge in his own house 
again for months, and she mostly kept a few young 
men, on whom she could depend, to act as a guard 
at night. This probably saved her life, or at least 
her house and property from destruction. "When 
Colonel Fanning called there on his return from 
that bloody excursion up Deep river, described in 
the first volume, she was determined to stand by 
her property to the last ; but in relation to this 
matter, we will give another extract from General 
Gray's letter. 

"Mr. Bell had taken so active a part against the 
Tories, that he knew if he fell into their hands they 
would take his life ; and, for this reason, he seldom 
lodged in his own house, while the old lady deter- 
mined, at all risks, to stick by ' the stuff,' and 
endeavor to prevent her property from being plun- 
dered. She stayed at home ; but usually got eight 
or ten young men, on whose bravery she could de- 


pend, to stay in the house at night ; for it was gene- 
rally in the night that the Tories committed their 
depredations. In the night after Fanning had killed 
Colonels Balfour, Bryant and others, and burned 
several houses and barns, when he and his troop 
rode into the yard at Bell's, the old lady took the com- 
mand, and, with the voice of a Stentor, ordered her 
men to throw open all the windows, take good aim 
and not draw a trigger until they were sure, each one, 
of his man. This was heard by Fanning and his 
company who wheeled off, no doubt, believing that 
the house was full of armed men ; but Mrs. Bell's 
little troop was so well pleased to get rid of them 
that they did not even give them a salute at start- 

Her trip to Wilmington, in company with Mrs. 
Dugan, when she went to see her son, Col. Thomas 
Dugan, who had long been confined on board an 
English prison ship, and was then condemned to be 
hung, has been related in the first volume, and other 
facts of interest and variety might be stated ; but we 
have aimed to give only such incidents as were most 
prominent and most authentic. The above are, in 
fact, only samples of the many hardships, perilous 
adventures and trying scenes through which she was 
called to pass during that eventful period of our 
history; and, if we mistake not, our readers will 
think with us, that her many deeds of noble daring 
and the firmness, energy and prudence with which 
she acquitted herself on every occasion, when either 
courage, promptness of action or the sacrifice of per- 
sonal interest was required, furnish the most grati- 


fying proof of her magnanimity and her exalted 

For several years after the cessation of hostilities, 
or after the British army had left the State, and left 
it to return no more, the country continued in nearly 
as much anarchy, turmoil and violence, as it had 
ever been. Strife and rapine still prevailed; and 
acts of revenge and murder were frequent. The 
angry and perturbed passions, when excited to the 
highest pitch, as they were then, by numberless acts 
of provocation — the animosity and strife, the ambi- 
tion and revenge, the contempt of danger and love 
of adventure, the recklessness with regard to moral 
obligation and the habits of theft, robbery and blood- 
shed, which have been engendered and fostered into 
rank maturity, by a foreign and domestic war of 
seven or eight years' continuance, cannot be quelled 
at the bidding of a few, nor made to pass away in a 
moment, as evil spirits are said to be driven away 
by the magic wand of the conjuror. In such times, 
the claims of moral and religious obligation very 
slowly and gradually regain their ascendency over 
the human, mind. A practical regard for the supre- 
macy of law, and the acknowledgment of mutual 
rights and duties, as founded on the great principles 
of justice and humanity, return, like a calm in the 
boisterous ocean, by slow and almost imperceptible 

Of Mrs. BelFs history after the war, we know 
very little, except that she continued to serve the 
public as she had been doing, until she became too 
old and infirm to leave home. Her life was, of 


course, more retired, quiet and monotonous, but 
was spent more pleasantly, if not more usefully. 
While the country continued in so much agitation 
and disorder that it was unsafe for a woman to 
travel alone, she still carried her arms as she had 
done during the war; and, although she passed 
through some trying and perilous scenes, she 
maintained her character for firmness and reso- 
lution to the last. Her most prominent traits were 
a quick discernment of what was necessary or 
proper to be done in given circumstances, a decision 
of purpose, and an energy of action that could not 
be surpassed, a calm and dignified firmness on all 
occasions, and a patriotic devotion to the cause of 
freedom and independence bordering on enthusiasm. 
During the war, and for some years after peace 
was concluded, when riding over the country, if 
she saw a man whose face was strange, or who 
looked at all suspicious, she would hail him, and 
make him give an account of himself, demanding 
his name and his business. If this should appear 
to the reader inconsistent with the modesty and 
delicacy of her sex, he must recollect that " circum- 
stances alters cases." At all times there may be 
occasions, and they were of almost daily occurrence 
at that period, when those qualities, so becoming 
ordinarily, must be subordinate to the higher 
principles of self-preservation and the public good. 
In such a state of anarchy, disorder and violence, 
as then prevailed, there was no proper respect paid 
to the female sex, except by the more intelligent 
and refined, who were then comparatively a small 


portion of the community ; and the woman whose 
energy, prudence and dignified firmness were ade- 
quate to any emergency, and enabled her on all 
occasions to defend her principles and her honor, 
even when her natural protectors were arrayed 
against her, and when, otherwise, her life might be 
the forfeit, was sure to command a respect which 
would not be shown to more lovely or attractive 
qualities, and she passed through her trials with 
for more satisfaction, as well as more credit, to her- 
self and her friends. 

While her modesty and delicacy, if not affected, 
are usually regarded as her highest ornament, all 
the world admires a woman whose intellectual pow- 
ers and moral courage and patriotic devotion to the 
welfare of her country raise her, in such times, 
above the weakness of her sex, and enable her to 
face danger in its most appalling forms, and to defend 
herself and her principles regardless of consequen- 
ces. Who does not admire the character and the 
conduct of Deborah, who, when her country was 
groaning under the oppression of a foreign yoke, 
led on the armies of Israel to battle and to victory, 
and at a time when there was not a man in the na- 
tion who had the courage to come forward and take 
the command ? The world abounds with similar 
examples and they form many of the brightest pages 
in the history of every nation. Few women, during 
the Revolution, displayed, in a higher degree or on 
more frequent occasions, those qualities which excite 
the admiration of the good and virtuous, or of the 
honorable and high-minded, than Martha Bell; and 


her name is freely " given in charge to the historic 
muse," without any apprehension that it will be 
proclaimed with a feeble or a jarring voice. 

After law and order were fairly established, and 
after morality and religion had gained a sufficient 
influence over the public mind to restrain men from 
acts of atrocity and violence, her arms were gladly 
laid aside. She had never worn them from a mar- 
tial spirit, for she loved peace as much as any one 
in the land; nor did she do it for ostentation or 
parade, for she was as free from every thing of that 
kind as any other mortal ; but it was, with her, a 
matter of imperious necessity. She must do it or 
submit to be insulted with impunity and perhaps 
be in continual jeopardy of her life. Situated as 
she was, she must shrink from the avowal of her 
principles and from the discharge of her duty, or 
she must go prepared to defend herself from the 
insults of the profane and the violence of the law- 
less. She must consent, contrary to the strong, 
undying impulses of her nature, to sink her influ- 
ence entirely and become a mere cypher, at a time 
too when all the courage, and patriotism, and love 
of freedom in the land were in pressing requisition, 
or she must shew to the world that, like all true 
hearted patriots, in every age and clime, she valued 
liberty enough to risk even her life in its defence ; 
and that, if she did fall a sacrifice in the contest, it 
should be a voluntary sacrifice in the defence of her 
rights and in the discharge of her duties. If all 
the women of the Whig community, at that day, 
had been of her character, even if they did not 


equal her in physical strength and intellectual vigor, 
they would have had an influence which neither 
British nor Tories could have resisted and the con- 
test would have been neither so arduous nor so 
protracted ; but then the task of the historian, by 
grouping all together, might have been an easy one, 
or it might have been made one of endless eulogy. 
When Mr. Bell died is not known to the writer, but 
she was a widow, the second time, for many years 
before her death. 

Although she had enjoyed, to some extent, the 
benefits of a religious education, she was not, at 
this time, a professor of religion ; but early in the 
present century, or in what is usually termed " the 
great revival " in the South, she professed her faith 
in Christ, and connected herself with the church. 
From that time until her death, which was about 
twenty years, she continued to adorn the profession 
which she had made, and all the native qualities of 
her mind and heart were still in their full vigor, but 
were now directed in a different channel. All that 
firmness, independence, and inflexible adherence to 
principle, all that energy and perseverance in the 
discharge of duty which had been so signally dis- 
played through the trying and perilous times of the 
revolutionary struggle, were still manifest even 
down to old age ; but they were now exercised in 
the promotion of a much nobler cause, and in the 
enjoyment of a higher liberty than that which was 
obtained by patient endurance of complicated suf- 
ferings, and by deeds of martial prowess through 
long years of toil, and sacrifice, and bloodshed. 


"He is free, and he alone, whom the truth makes 
free." That freedom she obtained and enjoyed as 
much, perhaps, as most other Christians; but there 
was another great battle yet to be fought ; and it 
was fought, nobly fought, triumphantly fought, and 
a glorious victory won : for she died in great peace, 
September 9, 1820, about eighty-five years of age; 
and of her it may be truly said, " Blessed are the 
dead who die in the Lord. 11 

Few women in the common walks of life, and in 
this or any other Protestant country, have passed 
through so many, and such severe trials, or have 
displayed such a rare combination of intellectual 
and moral qualities. Traits of character so noble 
and so diversified, are not as common as they 
ought to be, in either sex; and when they do occur, 
especially in such times, they claim not only our 
admiration, but our grateful remembrance. What 
she would have been in the higher walks of life, 
and with the advantages of a finished education, 
we cannot tell, nor need we inquire ; and we have 
no disposition to search for faults, or discuss the 
propriety of any one transaction of her life. We 
leave that for those who can neither admire mag- 
nanimity, nor appreciate deeds of heroic courage in 
a noble cause, nor relish high-toned feelings of 
patriotic devotion ; but whatever may have been 
her imperfections, and whatever she might have 
done under other circumstances, or with better ad- 
vantages of mental culture, she acted, on the whole, 
a noble part ; and no one who was acquainted with 
her histor} 7 , or who knew her personally, especially 


in the latter part of her life, could ever doubt that 
she has gone " where the wicked cease from trou- 
bling, and where the weary are forever at rest." 

Col. John Paisley. 

Late in the fall of 1780, when the proximity of 
the British army and their triumphant success 
hitherto had given fresh life and courage to their 
friends in this country, a small Tory encampment 
was formed near the dividing line between Guilford 
and Eandolph counties, but on which side of the 
line is not recollected. The number was so incon- 
siderable and they had been there so short a time 
that they had not attracted the attention of the 
Whigs, or not to any extent ; but they were neither 
remiss in their vigilance nor slow in their efforts. 
With the highly excited expectations of immediate 
success and of an ample reward at the hand of their 
" gracious Sovereign," they were ready to risk every 
thing, for the time being, and to brave danger 
wherever or in whatever form it might occur. As 
Col. John Paisley, who lived about eight miles, in an 
easterly direction, from the present town of Greens- 
boro', was a Whig and a partizan officer of con- 
siderable prominence, it became an object of primary 
importance with the Tories to capture him and carry 
him to the British. A party was accordingly dis- 
patched from the camp one night for the purpose, 
and arrived at his house just before sunrise. 
The Colonel had been out on an expedition against 


the Tories below deep river, and had returned on 
the evening before. 

Having been apprised of his return and taking it 
for granted that he would be at home and alone, 
they considered it a favorable opportunity and 
thought that by seizing him so early they could 
carry him off before any alarm could be given in 
the neighborhood. With these views they left the 
encampment in time, as they supposed, to reach his 
house by daylight, and thus far they came up to 
their expectations. The Colonel was an early riser, 
and, like most farmers over the country, had his 
breakfast, in the winter season, by candle light ; but 
having had much fatigue and lost a great deal of 
sleep on his tour, he had kept his bed a little longer 
that morning than usual. He had just got up in 
his deshabille and was making a fire when he saw 
them ride up to the gate. As a matter course, he 
understood their business at once, r and found himself 
in rather a " bad box." While they were highly 
gratified at finding everything, so far, just as they 
wished, he was as much perplexed for a moment 
to know what he ought to do. To think of resist- 
ance would be folly, when there were about a dozen 
of them, and he was alone, with his wife and three 
or four little children. To think of escaping on 
foot when they were mounted would be quite as 
useless ; and he must either make up his mind to be 
taken prisoner or devise some stratagem by which he 
could get the advantage of them ; but there was no 
time for deliberation, whatever he said or did must 
be said or done on the spur of the occasion, with all 


the promptitude and self-possession of a consummate 
general on the field of battle. Being a pretty good 
judge of human nature, he hit upon the only expe- 
dient that could have been of any avail, and it 
succeeded to admiration. 

When they entered the house, which they did, 
not only without any ceremony, bat with as bold 
and consequential an air as if they had been the 
"lords proprietors," he met them at the door with- 
out the least indication of alarm or embarrassment, 
and received them with a great deal of courtesy. 
As it was a very sharp frosty morning in November, 
he remarked to them with as much apparent frank- 
ness and urbanity as he would have done to his 
best neighbors, that he presumed they found it a 
little cool riding in such a morning, and pressed 
them to sit up near the fire, at the same time piling 
on more wood and making the biggest sort of a 

After a little off hand easy chat about the weather 
arid other common topics, in which he took care to 
lead the way, he set out the bottle and sugar-bowl 
on the side-board and said to them, with all the 
familiarity and plainess of " Southern hospitality," 
" Come, gentlemen, here is some very fine peach 
brandy ; but I don't want you to take my word for 
it. This is a cold morning and it will help to warm 
you. Come, try it." Being somewhat fatigued 
with their ride, and shivering with cold, this was a 
temptation which they could not resist ; and march- 
ing up, one and all, with right good will, they 
helped themselves quite liberally. Then returning 


to the fire, and complimenting the brandy as very 
fine indeed, the conversation went on as before, 
the Colonel still taking the lead and making himself 
very agreeable. 

In a short time the invitation was repeated, 
" Come, gentlemen, another dram can't hurt yon 
this cold morning. Come, try another." This was 
said with so much apparent cordiality as to miike 
them free in accepting, and they all consented, 
"nothing loath." Having given another proof of 
their friendly disposition towards " good old peach," 
they returned to the fire, but with still more hearty 
commendations of the brandy, and of its pleasant 
effects after riding in the cold. In the course of 
fifteen or twenty minutes, when agreeable topics of 
conversation began to be a little scarce, and there 
being on the part of one, at least, a strong disposi- 
tion to avoid every thing disagreeable, a third invi- 
tation was given, and in the same kind and obliging 
manner, " Come, gentlemen, let us knock the bead 
off this other bottle, and then we will go to break- 
fast. I see it is near about ready." No persuasion 
was necessary ; for they were more than ever in the 
spirit, though the flesh might be getting a little 
weak. Having taken another glass they returned 
again to their seats ; and the Colonel took care to 
keep " a rousing fire" all the time ; but by making 
such a free use of the " old peach" after having been 
so benumbed by the cold, and then sitting by such 
a warm fire, they began to feel very happy indeed. 
In fact they could hardly believe that they were 
any longer in this wicked world where there is so 


much fighting and wretchedness, but in some kind 
of a paradise or elysium where all past feuds are 
amicably settled, and where all past sufferings and 
sorrows are forgotten. Some were disposed to doze, 
and some to be loquacious, but while the conversa- 
tion was becoming more free and animated, at 
least with those on whom the brandy had an ex- 
hilarating effect, breakfast was announced, and they 
all set down to a table well furnished with the sub- 
stantial of life, such as fried ham and boiled eggs, 
hot cakes, butter and coffee, with sundry other 
things ; and they all laid in a bountiful supply ; 
each one recollecting that he had to eat for the past, 
present and future. The quantum of substantial 
nourishment which they had taken soon began to 
renew the energy of the vital powers, and to restore 
the system to its accustomed tone and vigor ; but 
as reflection was very gradually resuming its place 
while the exhilarating effects of the brandy were 
slowly subsiding, when they returned to the fire, a 
silence of some minutes ensued, and an air of sad- 
ness rested upon their countenances, indicative of 
an anxious and perturbed state of mind, or at least 
of a consciousness that they had been outwitted and 
brought into a very awkward predicament. 

The Colonel was still disposed to entertain them 
as he had been doing, in hope that his Whig 
neighbors would get notice of his situation and rally 
for his rescue, or that Providence would, in some 
way or other interpose for his preservation, but " a 
change was coming over the spirit of their dream, 1 ' 
and they were not disposed to be communicative. 


As the chariot of the sun had already ascended 
above the horizon, and was advancing up the 
eastern hill with as much rapidity as ever, they 
began to think it might not be very safe to remain 
there much longer, as some secret messenger might 
carry the news over the neighborhood, and the 
Whigs, in numbers too great for them to resist, 
might be on them before they were aware of their 
danger. It was a bold move in them to venture 
into such a Whig settlement at any time, and was 
certainly imprudent to be there in the light of the 
sun. Every moment increased their peril; but what 
was to be done ? To seize him now and carry him off 
as a prisoner seemed to them rather an ungrateful 
and irksome business. Destitute, as they were, of 
anything like refinement, and ignorant of the civili- 
ties which men of intelligence and cultivated 
manners observe, even in a state of warfare, in this 
case, which was so strongly marked and so impres- 
sive throughout, they felt committed by the common 
laws of hospitality to show him some friendship? 
and the very thought of treating him otherwise, 
made them feel a little mean. The perplexity was, 
to know whether they should take him prisoner 
after having been treated so kindly, or go away 
without mentioning the purpose for which they had 

No matter what course they took, the conse- 
quences must be unpleasant and inevitable. In 
either case they would feel self-condemned, and be 
subjected to never-ceasing taunts and reproaches, if 
nothing worse ; but one or the other must be done, 


and without delay. After a short and uneasy si- 
lence, one of them, probably the officer in command, 
by keeping all his better feelings, if he had any, in 
abeyance, conjured up resolution enough to become 
spokesman for the rest, and commenced, by saying, 
" I suppose, sir, you understand our business : we 
have been sent to take you prisoner, and carry you 
to our camp." " Yery well," said the Colonel, in 
his frank and independent way, not being at all 
disconcerted, and betraying no apprehension of con- 
sequences ; " Yery well, gentlemen, if you can recon- 
cile it with your conscience and your sense of pro- 
priety to take me prisoner, after having enjoyed my 
hospitality, you can do so. You came here cold 
and hungry — I gave you a place at my table, and 
at my fireside. I have given you of the best I had, 
and have treated you as well as I could. You are 
trying to maintain the authority of King George — 
I am trying to defend my country against his op- 
pressive measures, and to maintain those rights 
which the Creator has given us, and which we all 
ought to consider invaluable ; but in this contest, 
we ought not to forget the uncertainties of war, nor 
overlook the principles of honor and humanity. 
Your stratagem has succeeded, and you have taken 
me by surprise. I am here, in your power ; I am 
not disposed either to resist or to make my escape. 
Take me, if you think proper." 

After a momentary pause, and considerable 
embarrassment, some of them said, " Well, it did 
look rather ungenerous, and they hated it prodig- 
iously, but they reckoned they would be obliged to 


do it." ISTo one, however, seemed disposed to lay 
hands on him ; and after a little " hemming and 
hawing," some muttering their thoughts in an 
unintelligible way, and others maintaining a 
dogged silence, one of them remarked that it 
would be too confounded mean, and, for his part, 
he would give himself to " Old Scratch" at once, 
soul and body, before he would be guilty of any 
such thing. So saying, he started up, and indicated 
by his movements a determination to be off without 
further delay. To this they all assented, and 
showed by their actions that they were ready to 
follow his example. Then, thanking him for his 
kindness, and bidding him, apparently, a cordial 
farewell, they went out with an air of cheerfulness, 
as if they had been relieved from a great burden, and 
mounting ' their horses at the gate, started off as 
they came. They had not, however, got out of the 
lane until they begun to consider, and to discuss 
among themselves what excuse they would make 
on their return to camp. They could not say that 
they did not find him at home, nor that he was too 
strongly fortified by men or other means for them 
to «take him. To say that he had made them 
"foxy," and had thus found an opportunity to 
escape, or that he had overcome them with kind- 
ness, and they could not find it in their hearts to 
treat him as an enemy, would only expose them to 
unmeasured ridicule, and subject them to censure, 
if not to some heavier punishment at the hands of 
their superiors. 

As this was a matter of grave importance, and 


one which they could not leave undetermined, they 
called a halt and remained for a few minutes 
engaged in earnest confabulation, with their horses 
turned heads and tails, at right angles and in every 
possible direction. The majority it seems were in 
favor of taking him at all events, if it was a little 
mean ; and having come to this conclusion, they all 
put spurs to their horses, and dashed back at half 
speed; but he knew the Tories well enough not 
to trust them ; and before they got back, he was 
out of their reach. If the boobies had not got so 
" tight" on his brandy, from the effects of which 
they had not yet entirely recovered, they might 
have known that when they had once given him a 
chance to escape, they would not catch him napping 

Disappointed finally in the purpose for which 
they had taken such a long and fatiguing ride and 
mortified by the trick which had been so success- 
fully played upon them at the expense of their 
honor and their fidelity to the royal cause, without 
molesting his family, property or anything else, for 
which, after all that had passed and with something 
still more unpleasant, perhaps, in prospect, they* felt 
no disposition, they set off on their return to camp 
and at a gate which betrayed their deep mortifica- 
tion. As "the spur in the heal," was losing its 
effect and as the vexation felt by a disappointment, 
under such circumstances was pressing heavily upon 
their spirits, no jocund laugh was heard as they 
moved along and no vivacity was seen in their 
movements. If they were sad, those whom they 


were leaving behind were joyous; and every living 
thing on the premises seemed to feel relieved at 
their departure ; but what tale they told and how they 
fared on their return to camp was never known, 
because no one ever cared to know or thought worth 
while to inquire. 

James Love. 

Not long before the army under Cornwallis passed 
through Wilmington, on its way to the North, a 
massacre was perpetrated in the vicinity of the town 
which spread lamentation in a number of families, 
and which taught a sad but salutary lesson. Eouse's 
the scene of this tragedy, was eight miles below 
Wilmington and on the Newbern road. It was a 
public house and a place of resort for the Whigs of 
the surrounding country, who frequently met there 
in the evening to discuss public matters, take a con- 
vivial glass, and spend an hour or two in social 
mirth. On the evening to which we refer, some ten 
or twelve had collected there, and, although they 
were so near the town that a troop of British horse 
could reach them in an hour, they were enjoying 
themselves as usual. Major Craig, the British officer 
then in command at Wilmington, having been noti- 
fied of this party by a miserable Tory, sent out a 
detachment of infantry in the night, which took them 
by surprise, and gave no quarters. The whole of 
them, with the exception of one who fortunately 
escaped, were put to death without mercy or for- 
bearance ; and the place was left, for the time being, 


a scene of desolation. James Love, who was a com- 
panionable man, and was brave to rashness, was one 
of this party, and was almost the only one of whose 
conduct in that fearful moment, we have received 
any account. Though brave, he had such a flow of 
spirits, and was so fond of a social hour that he in- 
considerately exposed himself to the danger and met 
an untimely fate. 

When the British surrounded the house and com- 
menced the work of destruction, Love determined, 
it seems, that if he must die, he would sell his life 
as dearly as possible. Having taken his saddle into 
the house and laid his sword upon it, he seized both 
and, holding the saddle before him as a shield, cut 
his way through them until he got out of the house. 
He then aimed for a mulberry tree which stood in 
the yard and fell at its root, having his body pierced 
by a number of bayonets. Being a man of an un- 
daunted spirit and of great bodily strength, while 
his life's blood was flowing, he dealt such blows on 
his murderers that the ground where he fell was 
stained with their blood, as well as with his own. 
He did all that mortal man " dare do" or could do, 
in such circumstances, and none but the patriot and 
soldier would have sold his life so dear. One es- 
caped, and another, who had concealed himself in 
the garret, was ferreted out and promised his life 
on condition that he would disclose the position and 
plans of the Whigs. He did so, and then was in- 
stantly put to death. He was a native of Duplin 
county, and his name was Wilson. Being of good 
character and of respectable family, his betraying the 


plans of the "Whigs, to save his life, may be ac- 
counted for by the fact that he was quite a youth, 
and had not yet attained sufficient maturity of 

The work must have been done with great des- 
patch, for Col. Blud worth, with a body of men under 
his command, was so near that he heard the firing 
of the muskets at the house, and was soon on the 
ground, but the British had gone Then what an 
appalling scene was presented! There lay the body 
of Love alone in the yard and near the mulberry 
tree. The family who kept the house had fled in 
dismay ; and the floor was covered with the bodies 
of the slain. Love was respectably connected and 
highly esteemed as a man. Though brave and pa- 
triotic he was too inconsiderate and reckless of 
danger. The writer of the communication in the 
Wilmington Chronicle, from which this is taken in 
substance, and of which mention has been made in 
another place, says that Love asked his father that 
evening, as they were neighbors, friends and fellow- 
soldiers, to go along; but his father told him that it 
was too near a military post for them to venture, 
and tried in vain to dissuade him from going. The 
same writer says that Love fell in the prime of life 
and in the service of his country; but his death 
seemed to say to the minions of power, you may 
harass and kill, but such spirits you can never con- 


Col. Dodd. 

Daring the time that Wilmington was in posses- 
sion of the British, under the command of Major 
Craig, the town and its vicinity were the theatre of 
proscription, murder and torture, in rapid succession 
and often under circumstances of atrocity utterly 
incompatible with the honor of a great and civilized 
nation. Afraid to venture far into the country, 
they were all the time preying upon the Whig in- 
habitants within a space of a few miles in diameter, 
and, though the mass of the royalists in that region 
were conscientious and honorable men, as much so 
at least as could be expected in such a state of things 
as then existed, there were many others of a differ- 
ent character, men of depraved principles or of no 
principle at all, who, for a small bribe, or from a 
mean cringing disposition to curry favor with those 
in power, were ever ready to give information and 
to commit any unworthy deed at the bidding of 
their masters. Every active and spirited Whig, 
within the range of their operations, was "hunted 
like a partridge on the mountains ;" and, if caught, 
was instantly put to death. Fathers, husbands and 
brothers were murdered in cold blood, and their 
mothers, wives and children were left without a 
home, without protection and without even the 
means of subsistence. When Cornwallis, with the 
army under his command, passed through this 
region on his way to Yorktown, it was no better. 
The same deeds of cruelty were committed and the 


same wanton destruction of property was made, 
either by his express command or by ,his conni- 
vance, which amounted to the same thing. It would 
seem that his lordship, chagrined and mortified by 
the treatment which he had lately received from 
General Greene at Guilford Court House, was now 
gratifying his spleen by ordering or permitting these 
low acts of cruelty and recklessness. In this state 
of things there were some hairbreadth escapes, tor- 
tures inflicted almost beyond endurance and feats 
of valor and activity performed which were worthy 
of all commendation and of perpetual remembrance. 

The few incidents, belonging to that region, which 
are here related, were all taken, in substance, from 
the Wilmington papers ; and the account here given 
of Col. Dodd is from the Wilmington Chronicle, 
under date of June 11th, 1815, and, as it is a simple 
unvarnished tale, without any attempt at romance 
or exaggeration, we have no doubt it is strictly cor- 
rect. The writer of the communication tells us 
that he had the account, in the summer of 1811, 
from Col. Dodd himself, who was then living in 
Sampson county, in the full possession of all his 
faculties ; and like a man whose only aim was his- 
torical truth, he appears to have written just what 
he received from the most reliable source. 

lie tells us that Dodd was a small man, but of 
the finest form and figure. Although he was at the 
time of the interview, turned of seventy, he walked 
with a firm and vigorous step, and conversed with 
great spirit and vivacity. Like most men of that 
period who lived to be old, when speaking of revo- 


lutionary scenes, lie was not only animated but 
peculiarly interesting. At the time Cornwallis was 
passing through Duplin county on his way to Vir- 
ginia, Dodd had his residence near the court-house, 
where the army encamped and was halted for some 
time to refresh the troops. The most of the inhabi- 
tants, on the approach of the enemy, left their homes 
and fled to places of safety ; but Dodd and a few 
others remained, with a determination to annoy his 
lordship as much as possible. His smoke house was 
broken open and plundered, his stock was killed, 
and a fine blooded colt was disfigured and ruined 
by cutting open each side of the jaws from the 
mouth up to the ears. 

A detachment of cavalry or dragoons was sent 
out with orders to take Dodd himself — dead or alive, 
we presume, and, but for a kind providence and his 
own ingenuity they would have succeeded. While 
reconnoitering they espied him and a Mr. Thomp- 
son on the Cross Creek road, and instantly the 
pursuit was commenced at full speed. As they 
were both well mounted they felt little or no appre- 
hension ; but Dodd soon discovered the superior 
bottom of the British horse and told Thompson 
that they must leave the roacl, which lying through 
a swamp, had been causewayed and a ditch thrown 
up on each side. Dodd's horse, yielding to the 
spurs, leaped the ditch, but Thompson's horse re- 
fused. The pursuers now divided, a part going in 
pursuit of Dodd, with increased eagerness, and the 
rest went after Thompson. Dodd being uncom- 
monly vigorous and active, as he approached a pond 


•which, was covered with thick undergrowth, leaped 
from his saddle into it and sunk himself as much 
under water as possible, where he remained per- 
fectly quiet and motionless. His pursuers rode all 
through it again and again, crying out all the time, 
" We will have the d — nd rebel. Kill him ! kill 
him !" and several times they approached so near 
that he thought they would surely ride over him ; 
but he escaped and lived to a good old age, enjoy- 
ing the untold blessings of freedom and indepen- 
dence. Thompson was not so fortunate ; for he was 
soon overtaken, and killed on the spot. Two more 
determined Whigs, says the writer of this account, 
was not to be found in that region of country ; and 
the reader has no doubt been thinking on what a 
small thing, a mere casualty often, a little restive- 
ness in a horse at the critical moment, or a little well 
timed agility on the part of the rider, a man's fate 
in time of war, is frequently suspended ; but the race 
is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. 

Col. Thomas Bludworth. 

All who have been at Wilmington, or any where 
near it, have heard something about Negro-head 
Point, and about the origin of the name by which 
it is so familiarly known. It is the point of land 
between the North-East and North-West rivers 
where they enter the Cape Fear ; and is some four 
or five hundred yards from Market street dock. 
According to tradition it took the name of Negro- 
head Point from the fact that, in the early settle- 


ment of the country, the head of a famous negro 
outlaw, who had committed sundry acts of theft and 
murder in this and adjoining counties, was erected 
on a stake at this point, and left there as a warning 
to others. 

At present it is the site of a steam rice-mill, whose 
spacious front painted white, and whose tall chimney 
belching forth dense columns of smoke, curling and 
expanding as they rise into the air and floating off 
in graceful detachments, present an aspect by no 
means unpleasant. The area beyond, containing 
several hundred acres, is now the rice farm of 
Samuel E. Potts, Esq. This locality has also be- 
come celebrated by having been the theatre of one 
of the most remarkable incidents in the revolutionary 
war. It was at that time an uncultivated swamp or 
forest of tall cypress trees, intermingled with an 
undergrowth of loblolly, bay, rattan and bamboo 
briars. On the spot where the little office, which is 
painted white, now stands in front of the main 
building, once grew a tall cypress, the monarch of 
the swamp. This tree is said to have been seven 
feet in diameter, and seventy feet to the first limb. 
Being hollow throughout it contained within its 
base a chamber large enough to accommodate a 
small family ; and the exterior or shell was per- 
fectly sound, but to this singular mansion there was 
no visible entrance. It was first discovered by Col. 
Thomas Bludworth, a Welsh gentleman, though 
now a citizen of the country. When out on a fox 
chase one morning, the dogs pursued a fox to this 
point, and then suddenly disappeared. He could 


distinctly hear them barking, but could not deter- 
mine their whereabouts. At length it occurred to 
him that they must be inside of the tree ; but he 
could find no hole in it, and no visible entrance. 
On retracing his steps about fify yards he perceived 
that the leaves and earth had been scratched up as 
if by dogs' feet, and a cavern or tunnel in the earth, 
large enough he supposed to admit a man, and 
leading directly towards the tree. Entering this 
subterranean passage and fearlessly pursuing it, he 
was suddenly ushered into a spacious chamber and 
found the dogs exulting over their prey, having 
killed two foxes, a raccoon and a mink which had 
entered the hollow of the treee, no doubt as the 
usual place of their abode. It immediately occurred 
to him that this tree might be converted into a 
citadel for annoying the British who then had pos- 
session of Wilmington ; and he returned home 
revolving this project in his mind, but kept his dis- 
covery and his designs a profound secret ; for such 
was the perilous state of the times that their very 
inmost thoughts seemed to be conveyed to the 
British by the prowling, infamous Tories. 

The family of the Bludworths came over to this 
country many years before the Revolution, and 
settled near South Washington, in JSTew Hanover 
county. They are said to have been patronized by 
the celebrated Sir William Jones, who was himself 
a Welshman, and one of the most learned men in 
Europe. The old Colonists used to exhibit his 
letters to them with much pride, and expressed for 
him a most affectionate regard. They were poor, 


but not illiterate. They were moral and indus- 
trious, with strong national feelings, regarding 
themselves as the pure original Britons, whom the 
mongrel Anglo-Saxon race had driven from their 
homes, and despoiled of their property. Of course 
they held the English in utter abhorrence ; and 
when the war of the Revolution broke out, they 
joined the patriots to a man. It used to be a 
common saying among the Whigs that you might 
as well expect to find " a mare's nest," as a Welsh 
Tory. They furnished many a gallant spirit for 
the contest ; and amid the general excitement and 
cry for vengeance after the massacre at Rouse's it 
was not to be expected that the Welsh would be 
idle spectators. 

The Bludworths all had a mechanical genius, 
and being like Tubal Cain, very cunning in the 
working of metals, they manufactured sword-blades, 
pikes, pistols, and the very best of rifles. When 
Col. Blud worth discovered the hollow tree, he 
thought that he could make a rifle which would 
carry, with sufficient accuracy, a two ounce ball to 
the dock of Market street. Accordingly he set to 
work, and made a rifle of uncommon length and 
calibre. With this he practised shooting at a 
target, the distance which he supposed the tree to 
be from Market Dock; and having an accurate eye 
for mensuration, he was probably not far wrong. 
The experiment succeeded according to his wishes ; 
for having drawn the figure of a man on his barn 
door, he never failed to lodge a ball in it every 
shot, but still kept his intentions a profound secret. 


One fine day in Jul) 7 , he said to his son Tim, then 
a small lad, and to Jim Paget, a lath of an urchin 
in his employ, " Come, boys, let us see if we can't 
start a fox, or tree a raccoon, this morning ; but as 
it may be a long hunt, suppose we take some prog 
along with us." So saying, he filled two wallets 
with provisions, and laying them on the shoulders 
of the two boys, he took old Bess, as he called his 
new made rifle, with an augur and a large jug in 
his hand to hold water. Thus equipped, they 
entered a canoe on the North-east Eiver, and set 
their compass for Negro-head Point. On arriving 
at the tree, he disclosed his plans to the boys as 
follows : " Well, boys, yonder cypress tree is to be 
our home for two weeks to come, and mayhap it 
may be our everlasting home. There is a large 
hollow, capable of lodging us comfortably, and 
as it is adapted to my purpose, I want to take 
possession of it for a time. 

"It will be necessary to erect a little scaffold, and 
to make an opening in the tree, fronting Market 
Dock, where the British are in the habit of assem- 
bling. This opening must be large enough to 
admit the muzzle of old Bess ; and when she goes 
off' in that direction, with the right charge of pow- 
der and lead, somebody's head may ache ; but not 
ours : at least the hardest must fend off. Now, if 
you think yon can stand to it without flinching, say 
so ; if not, say so — and you can go home, and old 
Tom will try his luck alone." The boys gave three 
cheers, and said they would stand by him to the 
last ; when they all entered the aperture, one after 


another, and were soon in the hollow of the tree. 
Tim commenced boring a hole, to admit old Bess, 
standing on the shoulders of his father, and sup- 
ported by Jim Paget. A scaffolding was soon 
erected with pieces of timber, brought in from the 
swamp ; and additional holes were bored higher up 
in the tree to admit light and air. Old Bess was 
soon in the proper place, and ready for action. 
There were, however, several bay trees in front, 
which completely concealed the lower part of the 
cypress; but by cutting away a few limbs and 
leaves, a full view was given of the British on Mar- 
ket wharf. It so happened, that in the summer, 
from ten o'clock in the morning, until sun-down, 
the wind sets almost uniformly up the river, serving 
to bear away the smoke of the rifle in a northerly 
direction among the cypress trees, deadening the 
report at the same time, and thus concealing it from 
the enemy. 

The morning of the 4th of July, the day of 
American Independence, was the time fixed on for 
old Bess's introduction to his Majesty's loyal sub- 
jects. "You see, boys," said the Colonel, "that 
group of Britishers, with their red coats, standing 
before Nelson's liquor store, on Market wharf? 
Now, I'll just dispatch a two- ounce ball, to inquire 
what they are doing there this morning; and po- 
litely to ask after the health of Major Craig, and 
that infernal Tory, Captain Gordon, of the dra- 
goons." Crack went the rifle. " See, by blood !" 
said Tim, "there is a man down, and four others 
are lifting him into the shop." " Very good," said 


the Colonel, wiping out the gun, filling his charger 
with powder, and carefully emptying it into the 
muzzle, then taking out a patch from the breech, 
rubbing it in the tallow box, placing it under the 
ball at the muzzle, and carefully ramming it clown. 
" Fix my seat, Tim, and I'll try if I can send another 
into the shop to look after the first." Another report 
of the rifle — " There, I'll be darned to small flinders," 
said Jim Paget, " if another 'aint down ! and see, 
they are bearing the red-coat into the shop." Utter 
consternation seemed to prevail on the wharf: men 
were running to and fro, some pointing one way, 
and some another ; but no one suspecting the secret 
source of their annoyance. The drums began to 
beat to arms, and the fifes to squeal; but all in 
vain; they were struck down by an unknown and 
invisible hand. As if impelled by fate, a column 
of soldiers now marched down to the wharf, with 
colors flying, drums beating, and fifes discoursing 
most martial music. 

"Now, Kurnel," said Jim, "suppose you let me 
try my hand this time." 

" But Jim," said the Colonel, "do you think that 
you can hold the gun steady ?" 

" To be sure I can," said Jim. " 'Tis true, my 
shanks and arms are none of the biggest ; but I 
think I can do that thing." 

The colonel surrendered to Jim, who took steady 
aim and drew trigger. In a moment, in the twinkling 
of an eye, there was a universal fluttering in the 
dove cote ; and the column deployed, scattering in 
every direction. 


Jim, elated with his success, said, " Kurnel, old 
Bess must have been rude and offensive to them 
thar folks. They seem to cut her acquaintance, and 
are not at all fond of her society; she has been 
impudent to them, no doubt ; for I have allers 
hearn that they are a mighty well bred clever folks, 
and don't like to have rough-shod rebel missionaries 
to come preachin' among 'em." 

"But see, Jim," said the colonel, " they are taking 
to their boats, and we may have to leave here in 
double quick time, but wait and see." 

The boats were rowed across the river to the ferry 
landing on the opposite side. Having called a 
council, and judging that the shot must have come 
from the swamps on that side, they divided and 
began to penetrate the swamp, some on the left and 
some on the right ; but no boat came in the direc- 
tion of Negro-head Point, from which they deemed 
it impossible that a rifle ball could reach them. 

"Now, boys," said the colonel, "this will do for 
the first day's work. Open the provisions ; and after 
having paid our respects to the outer, let us try if 
we can comfort the inner man." 

On waking next morning, they discovered no 
one stirring on Market wharf, and a death-like 
stillness seemed to prevade the town. Presently, 
however, the drum and fife struck up the morning 
reveille ; and the usual hum and bustle were heard 
in the streets ; but still no one approached Market 
wharf, which had been the theatre for the display of 
Bess' prowess on the day before. 

" What, ye have got shy, have ye ?" said Jim 


" Wait 'till grog time, which, with these Britishers, 
is allers about ten o'clock, for they say the sun rises 
an hour too late in this country, and if you don't see 
Nelson's liquor shop crowded with red coats, then 
I'm a liar. We need be in no hurry ; for the wind 
won't fairly set up the river before that time." 

Sure enough, Jim proved no false prophet in 
Israel ; for just as the hour arrived, several red 
coats were seen gliding rapidly into the shop as if 
fearful that they would be shot down in their transit. 
Towards twelve o'clock, meeting with no molesta- 
tion, they became more confident, and assembled as 
usual in groups before the door. 

" Now, Kurnel," said Jim, " suppose you intro- 
duce Bess among them agin ;" and no sooner said 
than done. Crack went the rifle, and another pros- 
trate Briton was carried into the shop. 

The gun having been reloaded, as a dragoon rode 
down to the dock to water his horse, " There, 
Kurnel," continued Jim, "that's a mighty purty 
feather in that feller's cap. I think a little wetting- 
would improve it ; try and dip it in the river." 
Another blast of the rifle ; and the dragoon and the 
plume lay in the water. 

The man was hurriedly borne up the street, the 
drums beat to arms again, and boatmen were sent 
out to scour the swamp on the opposite side ; but 
returned with the same result as before. Our adven- 
turers had been amusing themselves with this 
pastime for a week or more when a prowling Tory 
informed the British that old Tom Bludworth had 
been for some time from home ; that he had taken 


■with him a large rifle of his own manufacture, and 
that, as he must be concealed somewhere in the 
swamps, he was probably the author of this mis- 
chief. The sagacious Tory also thought it possible, 
though not very probable, that Negro-head Point 
was the place of his concealment, and advised them 
to give it a thorough search, to cut down all the 
under growth and some of the cypress trees, so as 
to afford no hiding place for the d — d rebels. 

One morning early the Colonel said to his son : 
" Tim, are not those boats coming towards this place." 

"I think they be, father ; shall we retreat or wait 
the result ?" 

" Why," said Jim Paget, " if Tim will only shut 
up that thar hole where old Bess peeps out when 
she wants to pry into other people's biziness, I 
think we might as well stay here; for it will take 
good eyes to look into this here holler." 

Jim's advice was taken, and the hole was ingeni- 
ously closed up. In the mean time the boats 
approached, and having landed twenty men at the 
Point, they proceeded instantly with their axes to 
cut away the under-growth and some of the cypress 
trees ; but it was late in the evening before they 
got to the cypress where our heroes lay concealed. 

" Well," said a soldier, as he struck an axe into 
it, "as it is now sun-down, suppose we let this huge 
fellow stand until morning; but it must be cut 
down, for it is so large that it obstructs the view 
into the swamp beyond." 

" It will be a herculean labor," said an officer, not 
suspecting that it was hollow r , "and it is too late to 


undertake it now ; but let ten axes encounter it at 
sun-rise to-morrow morning." 

The inmates of the tree, who had thought that 
their last hour was approaching, now began to 
breathe more freely; and, not doubting that they 
could make their escape in the course of the night, 
they began to feel that they had a prospect of more 
days to live. The officer called off the men — all 
except the ten who were to be employed next morn- 
ing in the charitable work of removing the tree — 
and returned to town. The ten men who were left 
retired to a large yawl floating at the point, spread 
over it an awning, and unceremoniously went to 
sleep, leaving three sentinels posted, one at the 
yawl, one a few hundred yards up the North-West, 
and another about the same distance up the North- 
East river, near the place of the old ferry landing. 
There was a small recess in the river, concealed by 
rushes where our adventurers had left the canoe 
which brought them down, and which was to serve 
them again in time of need. Unfortunately, as it 
seemed to them, this recess was only a few feet 
from one of the sentinels, and to reach it unobserved 
they thought was impossible. The first thing that 
occurred to them was to creep up and tomahawk 
him at his post ; but, much to their gratification, 
they were relieved from this bloody alternative. 

Jim had left the tree unobserved by the others, 
and had gone forward for the purpose of recon- 
noitering, but, as bad luck would have it, when he 
had approached within ten steps of the North 
East sentinel, cautiously and silently opening the 


rushes as lie advanced, a rotten rattan snapped short 
in his hand as he was endeavoring to thrust it aside 
and seemed to expose him to imminent danger of 
being shot, " Who goes there?" cried the sentinel, 
and at the same time presenting his piece in the 
direction of the sound ; but Jim, who had got his 
diploma for imitating the voices of sundry animals, 
wild and tame, only answered with a grunt, which 
was the perfect imitation of a piney-woods hog. 
"0, blast your long snout," said the sentinel, "I 
might have known it was you, for who the devil 
would be fool enough to be eat up by the musqui- 
toes in the swamp at this time of night ? There 
will be little use for you to-night," said he, address- 
ing his gun, and resting it on a stump, and then, 
leaning himself against a tree, in a few minutes, he 
began to snore with his mouth wide open, as Jim 
could plainly see by the light of the moon. Has- 
tening back to his companions, he said to them, 
"Come, quickly! the cussed crittur is fast asleep, 
with his mouth wide open ; but 'tis a pity to kill 
him ; so we'll just thrust a gag in his mouth to keep 
him from hollering ; and if he does holler, I'll tell 
him this hatchet shall taste his skull, and I'll swagger 
but he'll keep quiet." Then cutting a round stick, 
and tying a string to each extremity, he went up to 
the guard and instantly thrust the stick between his 
jaws, tying the string behind his neck, and leaving 
him, bound hand and foot in the swamp. These 
gallant adventurers now returned home in safety 
and without molestation; but the Englishmen, on 
finding the sentinel next morning at his post bound 


hand and foot, and on attacking the big cypress, 
according to orders, soon had the secret of their 
annoyance brought to light, and though much mor- 
tified, they were saved any further trouble in that 
direction. They soon after evacuated the town, as 
before related, and went where they had perhaps 
more important work to do, but not more glory in 
the result. 

Closing Scenes of the Wae. 

The fall of 1781 closed the military operations of 
the revolutionary struggle in this State, except the 
murders and depredations of Col. Fanning and his 
party, which were continued until the next summer, 
and were detailed in the first volume of this work. 
As the closing scenes of every drama are viewed 
with increasing interest, we would like to give as 
minutely as possible, the last incidents of this long- 
continued and momentous conflict, but the limits 
assigned to this volume will not permit. 

In the month of August, Gen. Eutherford, having 
been exchanged, returned from his captivity at St. 
Augustine, and resumed the command in his former 
district. He was soon informed of the state of 
things in the region of the Cape Fear and Pedee 
rivers, and received from the officers of the sur- 
rounding country a request for assistance. With 
characteristic promptness, he ordered out the next 
detachment liable for duty, to rendezvous on Little 
river, in Montgomery county, by the loth of Sep- 
tember, and there assembled on the plantation of a 


Mr. Robinson, near the appointed time, about nine 
hundred and fifty of the infantry and near two 
hundred cavalry, seventy of whom were equipped 
as dragoons. They were in two troops, one under 
Capt. Simmons, of Rowan, the other under Capt. 
Graham, of Mecklinburgh. Robert Smith, of Meck- 
linburgh, was appointed Major, and invested with 
the command of the whole cavalry. While here, 
the enemy had their spies among them, who re- 
ported from time to time, but this only made an 
impression in favor of the Whigs. Near the end of 
the month, they commenced their march, by slow 
movements, on the road towards Fayetteville, and 
received some small accessions as they advanced. 
Capt. John Gillespie joined them with a troop from 
Guilford ; Capt. Bethel was there with a troop from 
the same county, and Colonel Owen, with thirty-five 
mounted men from Bladen. Their whole force was 
now about fourteen hundred men, three hundred 
and fifty horse, and ten hundred and fifty foot. 
This was an army which had nothing to fear in that 
region, and they had only to march through the 

The Tories had never dispersed since the capture 
of Gov. Burke, and about six hundred of them were 
now embodied on the Raft Swamp, under Ray, 
McDougal and McNeill, (" one-eyed Hector.") Gen. 
Graham says, they were informed that Col. Fanning 
was not with them. The tradition of the neighbor- 
hood says he Avas there, but was one of the first 
that fled. When the reinforcements were received, 
Major Smith was raised to the rank of colonel, and 


Captain Graham to that of major. These light 
troops scoured the country, and being in advance 
of the infantry, did all the fighting. As soon as the 
cavalry approached, they fled in every direction, 
and made no organized or general resistance, for 
they had neither the discipline nor the firmness 
necessary to face such men under such officers. 

The Whigs came upon them on the causeway of 
the Raft Swamps, each of them two or three hundred 
yards wide, and rode over them, cut them with their 
sabres, and tumbled the riders and their sand hill 
ponies off the causeway into the water, where 
probably some of them were drowned. At a cer- 
tain point, they had taken their stand on the rising 
ground, intending to give the Whigs "Jesse,' 1 as 
they came out of the Swamp ; bat as soon as they 
saw them, on their big western horses, rushing 
through like a torrent, they were frightened out of 
their wits and fled in utter confusion. Sixteen of 
them were known to have been killed and about 
fifty wounded. The Whigs lost one or two horses, 
and had one man killed, John McAdoo, who was 
greatly lamented as a man of tried firmness and 
dauntless courage. Some of the Tories then fled to 
the " Neutral Ground," and some left the country ; 
but most of them gave in their submission. 

Since writing the above, I received from a friend 
in that region some memoranda of the affair on the 
Raft Swamp, such as he could gather, and all he 
could gather, from the most reliable traditions still 
current in the country. They say there were nine 
or ten killed, but they are not certain as to the num- 


ber, and, as the men were from so many different 
counties, probably they never knew how many were 
wounded. Gen. Graham, who was a prominent 
actor in the scene and whose account is, therefore, 
the more reliable one, says there were sixteen killed 
and about fifty wounded. They all agree, however, 
that about six hundred of the Tories were embodied 
there and that was about the number they had in 
the battle on Cane Creek. In fact they had never 
disbanded entirely, but kept together and practised 
daily in the military exercises like any other army. 
The Governor was captured in Hillsboro', Sep. 13, 
and on the loth of October they were routed on 
the Raft Swamp. So that, after marching with their 
prize all the way from Hillsboro' to Wilmington, 
they could not have had more than a few days to 
rest and refresh the men. When they arrived, with 
Gov. Burke, at MoFall's mill, the place of general 
rendezvous for all the Tories east of the Yadkin, at 
least during the latter part of the war, he was sent 
off to Wilmington, guarded by a detachment under 
the command of Col. Ray. Fanning, having had 
his arm broken, only a few days before, in the bat- 
tle on Cane Creek, it seems, did not go, but remained 
with the main body until he knew that the prisoner 
was safely delivered to Major Craig and then re- 
turned to his old haunts near Cross-hill. In a few 
days, it is said, he and Maj. Elrod came down, but 
without any men ; and, after consulting for some 
time with the principal officers, left in the evening. 
During this transient visit of Fanning and Elrod, 
for consultation, the men Avere reviewed on or near 


the spot on which Floral College now stands, and 
they then numbered three hundred, or the rise, 
though many from the adjoining counties had, no 
doubt, after an absence of several weeks, gone, on 
furlough, to visit their families and would return 
before the battle. The number brought by Fan- 
ning and Elrod did not, it is said, fall much short of 
three hundred, making, in all, about six hundred. 
Within a week after their visit for consultation, 
when Rutherford was approaching and was probably 
near Drowning creek, or within a day's march of 
McFall's mill, Fanning and Elrod returned with all 
the men they could raise. Gen. Graham says, 
" They captured an old man, just from the Tory 
camp, who told them there were about six hundred 
men commanded by four Colonels, Eliod, (Elrod) 
Eay, McNiell, (one eyed Hector) and McDougal, 
but that Fanning, not having recovered from the 
wound which he received on Cane Creek, was lying 
out. Elrod, so far as I have been able to learn, 
never ranked higher than Major, but, from appear- 
ances, the old man might have taken him for a Col- 
onel. McDougal had been present but, owing to a 
fortunate circumstance, fortunate for him, at least, 
he was not there when they were attacked by the 
Whigs, or not in time to take any command. 

If Fanning was not present when the attack was 
made, it could hardly be on account of his broken 
arm ; for it was now over a month since he met with 
the accident and it must have been pretty well 
healed ; but he left in good time and for other rea- 
sons. He may perhaps have made that excuse, or 



it may have been a charitable supposition on the 
part of the men ; but he always perceived, as if by 
instinct, jnst when he could venture to be brave, 
and when " discretion was the better part of valor." 
By the spies whom Gen. Graham mentions as having 
been present when Gen. Kutherford was collecting 
his force, he must have been well informed in regard 
to the number and character of his enemy ; or, with- 
out any such information, his own sagacity and his 
knowledge of the country must have taught him that 
such a man as Kutherford would not come into that 
region without an adequte force, and, that the Scotch 
on their sand-hill ponies,, even with equal numbers, 
would be no more before those western men on their 
fine western horses, than chaff before the wind. He 
would not have had command of more than his own 
men, if he had been there, as the Scotch were unwil- 
ling to be commanded by him ; but, if he had been 
the commanding officer, he had more sense than to 
encounter a superior force of western men, com- 
manded by such officers as Rutherford, Smith, Gra- 
ham and others, whose character for skill and bravery 
was well known over the State. He knew well what 
would be the result; and, rather than witness the 
destruction, or entire discomfiture of his friends, he 
very prudently left when he found that the enemy 
was nearly within striking distance. 

Before Fanning and Elrod joined them with the 
men they had collected, Col. McNeill, "One-eyed 
Hector," as he was afterwards called, had marched 
his army down about five miles below McFall's mill 
and encamped in the woods at the mouth of Brown's, 


now McDougal's branch, on the south-west side of 
the Little Raft Swamp, and about a mile above the 
Lowry road, where they were joined by Fanning 
and Elrod. At the battle on Cane Creek, as before 
stated, where old Col. Hector McNeill was killed j 
McDougal was put in his place; but that was in- 
tended to be only a temporary appointment. When 
the danger was over, according to tradition, another 
Hector McNeill was put in the place, to conceal the 
death of the old Colonel, and he continued in office. 
Still McDougal may also have been permitted to 
retain his appointment in honor of his services on 
that occasion; but be this as it may, none of them 
having much to do, he left head-quarters and went 
on a visit to his old Whig friend, Neill Brown, Esq., 
who lived some four or five miles south, on the 
south-west side of Eichland swamp, where he stayed 
a day or two. Next morning (the second morning 
of this visit, I presume,) word came to the army that 
Gen. Rutherford had arrived at McFall's mill ; and 
they just supposed that, in a day or two, he might 
come down, or perhaps send forward a detachment 
to reconnoitre their camp, and perhaps "beat up 
their quarters," a little. 

After some consultation, they concluded to cross 
the Little Raft Swamp, and take their stand upon the 
face of the hill, on the north-east side, on the Lowry 
road, and there " give the Whigs Jesse" as they 
came out of the swamp, which they would have to 
do on a causeway, that was little better than none. 
They did not expect an immediate attack, yet they 
sent up Daniel M'Arn, and another man as a scout, 


to get information. M'Dougal had heard nothing 
of Rutherford's approach, but he concluded to visit 
the army this morning. Brown told him, merely 
as an act of courtesy, to leave his horse, and ride 
his mare, a fine young animal, which he did. " The 
army" crossed the swamp, not in any order, but as 
they found it convenient : and just while they were 
doing so, M'Dougal rode up. When the front got 
over, they met a traveller on foot, and carrying a 
bundle hung over his shoulder on a staff. Laying 
aside his bundle, he sat down to rest and talk. 
"When " the army" had crossed, they were all con- 
sulting and talking, some sitting, and others lolling 
on the ground, but none of them were in order for 
battle, when M'Arn and the other man who had 
been sent out for information, were seen coming at 
full speed, their horses almost run down. On 
coming up, they announced that the Whigs were 
coming in full gallop, and were close at hand. 
While they were yet speaking, Major Graham and 
his dragoons came in sight, having seen M'Arn 
and pursued him. 

The Tories had taken up the bridge, and thought 
that no mortal would then attempt to cross ; but 
Graham and his men, on their big horses plunged 
in, and floundered through, much to the surprise 
of the Scotch, and then formed into line by turning 
to the right and left as they cleared the swamp. 
At this moment all was confusion among the Tories, 
and some fled at first sight. Others tried to get 
into order, and about thirty -five did so ; but as soon 
as the Whigs were formed into line and started up 


the "bill at a gallop, they all fled, each one his own 
way, and M'Dougal among them, on his young 
mare, and using his cocked hat for a switch. 

The poor traveller, noticed above, feeling con- 
scious that he had done nothing worthy of death, 
apprehended no danger, and made no efforts to get 
out of the way ; but when the dragoons were ap- 
proaching, his fears were excited. Dropping on 
his knees, he began to beg for his life, but in vain. 
In the thoughtlesness of the moment, and impelled 
by their excited feelings, one man pulled out a pis- 
tol and shot him down, without breaking their gal- 
lop, however, or retarding their pursuit of the 
flying enemy. They kept the road in a north- 
easterly direction, towards the Big Eaft Swamp ; 
and this probably gave their enemies a better op- 
portunity of attacking them en masse, while they 
crowded, jostling each other, and thus retarding their 
own progress over the long and narrow causeway. 

In what was then an old field, but now owned 
and cultivated by John McMillan, William Watson 
was overtaken and cut down. His brother John, 
who was only a few paces ahead, was also cut down 
when in the act of turning round to beg for his 
life. These were both from the swamps on the 
Cape Fear ; and a little further on they shot down 
Thomas Watson, of another family, but he got to 
Edward Campbell's that night, where he lived a 
week and died. They next cut down Peter McKel- 
lar, from Ashpole, who was buried at the road-side 
where he fell, and a small post, with the initials of 
his name near the top, still marks the place of his 


grave. A little above the road, on the hill of the 
Big Eaft Swamp, two or three others were cut 
down whose names are now forgotten. Soon after 
I came into this part of the country, and before I 
had the least thought of ever publishing anything 
on the subject, William Eyan, Esq., who was one 
of our most upright and estimable citizens, and 
who was on that expedition against the Tories, told 
me that when they came to the Big Raft Swamp, 
" it looked funny" to see the little Scotch ponies, 
that had been jostled off the causeway, and had 
sunk into the water on each side, some with their 
heads, and some with only their noses, above the 
surface, while others had, no doubt, sunk entirely, 
and were never seen again. While a cluster of 
them were thus amusing themselves, they saw the 
bushes on one of the tussocs shaking, and on 
observing it closely, they saw the face of a little 
oldish looking Scotchman peering through the 
leaves. James Shannon, of this county, beckoned 
him to come out, but without any thought that he 
would be treated with inhumanity. Some one of 
the men present was going to shoot him on the 
spot ; but Ryan said he himself begged them not 
to do it, and told them that it would be a shame to 
kill such a man, and when entreating them most 
earnestly by looks and signs to spare his life. 
They would have spared his life, but while engaged 
in trying to hold some intelligible communication 
with him, some one — Major Charles Polk, I think, 
or Devil Charley, as he was generally called — rode 
up, and asked them if that was the way they were 


obeying the General's order. The little Scotchman, 
reading Polk's determination in his countenance, 
attempted to run and make his escape to the 
Swamp, which was not far off; but Polk took after 
him, and either shot him, or cut him down with 
his sword. The traditions of that neighborhood 
say that Polk split his head open with his sword, 
and then returned wiping the blood off with his 
hand. William Morrison, father of the Eev. Robert 
Hall Morrison, D. D., was one of the party, and 
always spoke of it afterwards with a kind cf horror. 
He said it made the flesh crawl on his bones, and 
he regarded it as nothing but murder. Ryan, 
when giving me the account, spoke of it in the 
same way, and said that the very thought of it 
made him feel awful. 

A young man of some distinction was also killed, 
on the south side of Rock Fish. His body remained 
there until two women, a Mrs. Black and another 
dug a hole and buried him, for such was the terror 
inspired by the Whigs, that no man would venture 
to perform even that duty. A marsh near the 
place where he was buried took his name, and is 
still called Armstrong's Marsh. Peter Robisson lost 
his horse on that occasion, having been wounded 
and mired down in a branch ; but in a few days he 
got out and was taken on his way home, with all 
his trappings and baggage safe. A Joseph Corbett 
was called on by a small party and told to come out 
into the yard to be shot, as they did not wish to 
bloody the floor. He did as he was ordered and 
placed his hands, one over the other, opposite to 


his heart. The charge was directed to that point. 
He fell and was left for dead ; but he recovered, 
some of the shot remaining in his hands and the 
rest so much weakened that his life was saved. 
He also died at an advanced age. I saw a man, by 
the name of Archibald Black, who had been shot 
down and afterwards received some blows on the 
head with a sword. He died a few years ago in 
Florida. The charge had lodged in his shoulder, 
and, as the ball was never extracted, he generally 
complained of some inconvenience. At the same 
time a brother of his was killed, and probably 
others who are now forgotten. 

By the discomfiture of the Tories on the Eaffc 
Swamp, and by the energetic measures which were 
immediately adopted and carried out, they were so 
frightened and scattered, that they never attempted 
again to embody. When they found that General 
Rutherford was remaining in that region, and send- 
ing out his dragoons in every direction, and pene- 
trating the swamps in search of them, with a bold- 
ness which struck them with amazement, they began 
to think that he was determined to put them all to 
the sword ; and they either came in and surrendered 
at discretion, or fled beyond his reach. Maj. Gainey 
had some time before made a truce with General 
Marion, that there should be a cessation of hostili- 
ties within a certain district or portion of South 
Carolina, lying on or near the Pedee ; and many of 
the discomfited and frightened Tories, fled to the 
" Truce," as the place was now called. Many of the 
robbers and desperadoes of the country also fled to 


"tlic truce;" and thus "the truce" became a con- 
siderable advantage to the country. From this 
time, the Tories were virtually conquered ; and very 
few murders and depredations were afterwards com- 
mitted by the two political parties as such. . Having 
given the traditionary accounts of the affair on the 
Eaft swamp, we return now to the narrative of Gen. 
Graham, who, from his character, and his having been 
an actor in the scene, is the more full and reliable. 
Having so effectually subdued the Tories in that 
region, Gen.. Rutherford moved down the river, on 
the south side, towards Wilmington ; but after 
going some distance he divided his forces and ad- 
vanced on both sides. Leaving a strong detachment, 
under Col. Smith, with orders to continue on the 
same route, he crossed the river himself, with the 
main body, and went down on the north side 
Smith's party took a few prisoners and had a little 
skirmishing, but met with no serious opposition 
from the Tories. A brick house, opposite to Wil- 
mington, was garrisoned by fifty British and fortified 
by abattis. To gratify the importunity of the men, 
the officers yielded, contrary to their better judg- 
ment, and an attempt was made to " storm the 
castle ;" but without success and with very little 
loss. On learning that a hundred Tories were en- 
camped on the plantation of a Mr. More, a mile or 
two below, a detachment of ninety men, under 
Major Graham, was sent to disperse them, which 
they did without any serious loss. Twelve of the 
Tories were killed and about thirty wounded. Con- 
tinuing their march, they were attacked in the 


night by Col. Gainey with about eighty of his fol- 
lowers ; but were repulsed with the loss of one man 
killed and a few wounded. The Whigs had one 
man killed, Lieutenant Clarke, and several horses 
wounded. In the course of the following day Col. 
Lee arrived with the intelligence that the British 
army under Cornwallis had surrendered at York- 
town, and in a day or two more, the British troops 
under Major Craig, evacuated Wilmington. 

After Lord Cornwallis surrendered to General 
Washington, at Yorktown, Oct. 19th, 1781, and 
Major Craig left Wilmington, about the first of 
November following, it was a fearful time with the 
Tories until peace was concluded, in the fall of 
1783, and could be carried into effect. The treaty 
made provision for them, but it required a few years 
to get order established, and secure their safety. 
In the meantime, many of those who had been most 
active and prominent, fled from the country, — some 
went back to Scotland, and some to the AYest 
Indies ; but most of them went to Nova Scotia and 
New Brunswick, where the British government 
had made provision for them. Some, however, of 
the most active and efficient among them, remained 
until law and order were established, and found 
concealment in the swamps or protection under the 
wing of Whig friends. Captain John McLean, for 
example, — Sober John, who had Gov. Burke and 
the other prisoners in charge, from Hillsboro' to 
Wilmington, because he would not get drunk, left 
his family on Upper Little river, and took his 
negroes down to the swamps on the Cape Fear, 


nearly opposite to the Bluff Church, where he rented 
land from his Whig friend, John Smith, and under 
his protection, dwelt in safety until the danger was 
over. Alexander McKay went to the West Indies, 
became wealthy and died there. Capt. Daniel 
McNeill, Col. Duncan Eay, Col. Archcl. McDougal, 
and a number of others, went to Nova Scotia. 
Captain McNeill made that his home, and with the 
exception of one short visit to North Carolina, lived 
there to quite an advanced age ; but Col. Eay re- 
turned to his family in North Carolina as soon as he 
could do it with safety. Col. McDougal remained 
there some five or six years, during which time he 
went to London and stayed there two years, then 
returned to North Carolina, where he married, 
raised a respectable family, and lived to a good old 
age, enjoying the respect and confidence of all who 
knew him. The writer became acquainted with 
him a few years before his death, and can say that 
he has seldom met with a more hospitable, generous 
and warm-hearted old man anywhere. Col. McNeill, 
" one-eyed Hector," Col. Ray, Capt. McLean, Capt, 
McKay and others, also left very respectable families 
and connections. The same may be said in regard 
to many who were then only private individuals, 
and but little known. The Hon. Laughlin Bethune, 
for example, formerly a member of Congress, was 
the son of the Colin Bethune, who has been already 
mentioned as having been so maltreated when a 
prisoner. After the English authority was finally 
abolished, and before the American laws could be 
properly enforced, the country abounded with thieves 


and robbers, who were even more reckless and dan- 
gerous than during the war, when both parties were 
always armed and ready for defence or revenge. 

These robbers often committed murder, and gen- 
erally professed to belong to one or the other of the 
political parties as suited their purpose. When 
they went to the house of a Tory they professed to 
be Whigs, and often pretended that they were acting 
under authority from General Kutherford. When 
they went to the house of a AYhig they professed to 
be Tories ; and when they happened to have a spite 
at the man, or thought themselves insulted while 
there, they took his life. The country abounded 
with swamps which were so large, so densely 
covered with a small growth that was peculiar to 
them, and so perfectly inaccessible to horsemen, 
that it was almost impossible to find or apprehend, 
them. When, for the last time, they went to the 
house of old Kenneth Black, of Moore county, 
though he had been often robbed before, there was 
still something left, and after driving the family all 
into the smoke house, they searched every part of ■ 
the house, even the moss in the cracks, dug up the 
dirt floor, and took away all the clothing and bed- 
ding, household and kitchen furniture, provisions, • 
and everything they could carry. A band of these 
robbers came from the Neuse region, and, in one 
night, plundered the houses of Archibald McNeill, 
(Ban) Mrs. Ochiltree, John McDuffee, John McKel- 
lar, widow Moore, Peggy McKay, Duncan Kay and 
John McKay ; but they were pursued by Captain 
John McDonald and arrested. When the robbers 


found themselves in danger they fled to "the truce," 
unless they were taken by surprise or suddenly en- 
vironed by such a number that they could not 
escape. When peace was made, "the truce" expired 
and the honest Tories all returned home. The rob- 
bers and all, who had made themselves particularly 
odious to the community and obnoxious to the laws, 
remained. The Whigs then collected a company 
and went in pursuit of them. Many of them were 
put to death. The rest were so reduced in number 
and so overawed that they gave very little more 
trouble ; but, for some time after the termination of 
hostilities with England, there was a most deplora- 
ble state of society, especially in those parts of the 
country in which there had been such embittered 
and deadly conflicts between Whigs and Tories. 
War of any kind, and under any circumstances, is 
demoralizing in its tendency, but a civil war, above 
any other, is destructive of all regular habits, all 
sound principles and all the courtesies and kind 
offices which make society desirable. Thousands, 
who were men of intelligence or of strong minds 
and of moral and religious principles, passed through 
the whole of the Eevolutionary war without any 
radical deterioration of character, and afterwards 
became useful members of the church as well as of 
civil society, but it was not so with the masses. 

When a country is wantonly invaded by a foreign 
enemy, men of intelligence and moral principle, may, 
with a good conscience, fight for their freedom, 
their rights of conscience, their homes, their families 
and all that is most dear to them in this world. 


They can fight and conquer and kill, if necessary, 
those of their fellow citizens who traitorously take 
up arms to aid a foreign enemy in subjugating and 
oppressing the country ; for the government must 
be maintained and the shedding of a little blood or 
the loss of a few lives is a much less evil than the 
anarchy which must otherwise ensue, or the crush- 
ing weight of iron-handed despotism. In such 
cases good men ought, even at the risk of their 
lives, to defend the inheritance which heaven has 
given them. They may do it too, from a sense of 
duty and not from a vindictive spirit ; but it is only 
the smaller portion who have this command of 
themselves. When the mass of people have got 
their minds up to the point of taking each other's 
lives, no matter for what cause, they soon come to 
disregard all their other rights and a thirst for re- 
venge and plunder becomes the ruling passion. 
For ten or twelve years, including the two or 
three last years of the war, that part of the country 
which is now under consideration, was in a state of 
wretchedness which few can conceive, and which 
the pen of a McAuley or a Prescot could hardly 
describe. While every thing was so insecure that it 
was liable at any moment to be taken away by 
stealth or robery, men had no encouragement to 
labor, and they seemed to aim at providing no more 
than would just enable them to subsist. Life itself 
was insecure ; and no man, if he dared to sleep in 
his own house at all, when he lay down at night, 
could feel any degree of confidence that the house 
would not be wrapped in flames over him, or that 


the assassin's dagger would not make him " Sleep 
the sleep of death." Poverty and desolation reigned 
over the country. Murder, robbery, intemperance, 
licentiousness, gambling, and horse-racing every 
where abounded ; and of this the records of the 
county and circuit courts afford ample proof. Yet 
some men could pass through all that state of things 
with a character untarnished and without any radi- 
cal change or deterioration of their moral principles ! 
Colonel Thomas Owen, father of the late Gov. Owen, 
was one of this class; for he would do nothing 
more, they say, than his duty as an officer and the 
necessities of his men required ; and their des- 
cendants have a high regard for his memory to this 
day. He was firm, energetic and enterprising ; but 
he was humane and honorable, and he has shown 
that a man who was then fighting for his country 
might do his duty as faithfully as any other and 
subdue his enemies, but still have their gratitude 
and respect. 

Colonel, afterwards General Brown, was very 
severe ; and even such of the Tories as had not been 
prominent in the king's service, and consequently 
had not become the victims of his prowess, thought 
hard of him at the time. I have never heard, even 
from Tories or any body else, that he condescended 
to robbery, house-burning, or any thing disreputable 
to him as an officer ; but, that he did not spare such 
as were found in arms, acting on the principle that 
the Tories must be subdued, and the sooner it was 
done the better for them as well as for the country. 
Col. Peter Eobison was also a terror to the Tories, 


and lie used to remark, in his playful manner, that 
"a Scotchman's head would split like a green 
gourd ;" but, that these men were not actuated by a 
cruel or vindictive spirit, even the Tories themselves 
seemed afterwards to be convinced ; for after peace 
was concluded, and the independence of the country 
was acknowledged by Great Britain, they found that 
these very men were the best friends they had. 
When John McPherson, for example, and a number 
of others went down to Elizabethtown to make their 
submission and take the oath of allegiance to the 
State, they were treated with the greatest possible 
civility and kindness by the Eobisons. "While 
there and when leaving, they accompanied them out 
of town some distance, to protect them from the in- 
sults to which they might be exposed. 

At the commencement of the war, the great mass 
of the Tories, Highlanders and Eegulators, were 
conscientious men ; but, before the close of it, con- 
science had become very feeble, at least in a large 
majority. Their relative numbers, too, appear to 
have been greatly increased, partly, we presume, by 
accessions from the ranks of those who never had 
much conscience or sense of character ; and partly 
by the falling off from the Whig ranks of the timid 
and the worthless. The uniform tendency of war 
is to produce a general deterioration of moral prin- 
ciple, a fondness for plunder, a thirst for revenge, 
and a reckless disregard of consequences. Let it be 
recollected now, that one design of the writer in this 
detail of incidents, has been to give the community 
at the present day, some idea of the horrors attend- 


ing a civil war, and to hold up the deplorable state 
of things then existing as a warning against disunion 
and every thing which might tend to produce anar- 
chy and bloodshed. The union of these States is 
the glory of the nation, and on its preservation de- 
pends the perpetuity and boundless increase of that 
prosperity and happiness which we have hitherto 
enjoyed. While that is maintained, we shall have 
no anarchy and no civil war ; but to preserve it in its 
full vigor requires vigilance, enlightened patriotism 
and honesty of purpose. 

Some may think there is no danger that such a 
state of things will ever again exist in this country, 
but we think this a mistake, and so do much wiser 
and better men. It is a very few years since we 
were within less than a " hand's breadth" of being 
hurried into all the untold miseries of a civil war ; 
and had it not been for the unwonted exertions of the 
most talented and patriotic men in the nation, the 
country would ere this have been inundated with 
blood. If the country were now invaded by 
England, or any other nation, the whole of the 
Protestant community, at least, would be united as 
one man in defence of their glorious inheritance, 
and we have nothing to fear from foreign invasion. 
The danger is at home ; and that there is danger 
from internal dissensions in a country of such 
immense extent, and in which there are so many 
local interests of such a diversified and important 
character, there can be no question. Nor would 
the contest now, in case of civil war, be less fierce 
and bloody, or less strongly marked by deeds of 


ferocity, than in the Revolutionary struggle. Human 
nature is still the same in all its attributes, and the 
same causes would produce the same effects. 

At first blush it seems hard that when we were 
fighting for liberty of conscience, the Highlanders 
and Regulators, who were so conscientious in re- 
gard to their oath, should have to suffer for con- 
science's sake ; but it was one of those cases which 
admit of no remedy. We do not blame them for 
being conscientious ; but we are sorry that they had 
such a conscience, — sorry, we mean, that they had 
not enjoyed ampler means of information, or that 
they had not been better acquainted with their 
rights, with the true import of their oaths to the 
king, and with the whole controversy between the 
mother country and her colonies. Providence is 
moving on the affairs of this world towards the 
final accomplishment of his purposes, and if men 
are not prepared for any important crisis when it 
occurs, they must suffer the consequences. The 
intellect may be cultivated in a high degree, while 
the moral powers, or the conscience, and the reli- 
gious affections are entirely neglected; and then 
the influence is uniformly bad, if not utterly 
blighing and destructive ; or the moral powers 
may be in a good degree cultivated, while the 
intellect is left an entire blank in everything 
except the mere elements of moral truth and duty, 
and then in times which require an acquaintance 
with all subjects of a practical kind, a discernment 
of great principles in their bearing on existing cir- 
cumstances, and a promptness to act as occasion 


requires, the deficiency of general knowledge and 
mental culture becomes the source of trouble to all 
who may be directly or indirectly concerned. In 
such a condition were the great mass of the Scotch 
during the war ; and their case shews the necessity 
of having a general system of education, and of 
taking active measures for the universal diffusion 
of intelligence among all classes of the community. 
It appears that the people may be entirely wrong 
even in the most important matters, and honestly 
think they are right ; but their sincerity does not 
shield them from the consequences of their ignorance 
and their mistakes. It is perhaps worthyof remark 
however, that a man who gets wrong on principle is 
very apt, if he has the means of information, to get 
right on principle ; and those who do so make the 
very best citizens. There is probably not a more 
public-spirited and law-abiding people in the country 
than the descendants of the Scotch Tories. In no 
part of the State are schools of high order more 
liberally endowed, or more extensively patronized. 
Newspapers and periodicals of every kind circulate 
freely. Useful books of all kinds are found in 
almost every house, and many of them have respec- 
table libraries. In improvements of every kind 
they are going ahead, and feel as much as any others 
the importance of getting some literature of our 
own. Whoever will go among them, and become 
acquainted, will say that he has hardly ever been 
among a more intelligent, hospitable and kind 
hearted people ; and will soon forget that he is in 
what was once a Tory region, or that such scenes as 


we have described were ever witnessed there. The 
writer speaks from experience, and has no fear of 
being found a false witness. For example, instead 
of being ashamed to have it said that they are the 
descendants of Tories, and trying to conceal what 
they know, I have found them as ready and cheer- 
ful as any others in furnishing me with whatever 
facts they had or could readily obtain. They say, very 
justly, that if their fathers were in the wrong, they 
were honestly so, and that the more is known about 
them the more favorable will their character appear. 
We are now all one people, and the sins or mis- 
takes of the fathers are no longer to be visited upon 
the children. Except in some particular neighbor- 
hoods, there are few descendants of Tories, now in 
the third generation, who have not some Whig 
blood in their veins, and few descendants of Whigs, 
especially of those in the early part of life, who 
have not some Tory blood. Henceforth every one 
must stand by his own merits or fall for the want of 
them ; for a free and enlightened government is no 
respecter of persons, and an intelligent, liberal- 
minded and free people, in the bestowment of their 
suffrages, will regard nothing but intellectual and 
moral qualifications. Free institutions seem to have 
a wonderfully assimulating influence on the character 
of mankind, and it should be the prayer of every 
Christian, and of every patriot, not only that the pros- 
perity and happiness which we now enjoy may be per- 
petual here, in this land so highly favored of Heaven ; 
but that they may be extended, in full measure, to 
every kindred, and tongue and people under heaven. 



Head-quarters, Hillhouse's Plantation, 18th Jan., IT 81. 

Parole, Portland. Countersign, Wight. Thursday. 

The Commissary will issue to the troops three day's 
meal to the 22d inst. inclusive, and one day's Rum for this 
day inclusive. 

Major-Gen. Leslie's Guard, 1 6 1 4 

P. M. Guards, 1 6 J J 

" The troops under the command of Major-Gen. Leslie 
having joined Lord Cornwallis, all orders to be received 
from the Deputy Adjutant- General. 

General Leslie begs the commanding officers of the dif- 
ferent regiments which formed his late command, will 
accept his sincerest thanks for the great attention they 
have paid towards the regularity of their corps. To the 
officers and soldiers of which, his warmest acknowledg- 
ments are due for the strictest adherence to good order 
and discipline." 


Head-quarters. Camp. Hillhouse's Plantation. 
18th Jan., 1*781. 
Earl Cornwallis' Orders. — 8 o'clock at night. 
The army will be ready to march in column at 8 o'clock 
to-morrow morning, in the following order : 

Yagers, N. Carolina Volunteers, Provision Train, 

Corps of Pioneers, 2 Six-Pounders, Bat. Horses. 

2 Three-Pounders, Lt. Webster's Brigade, Ammunition Wagons, 

Brigade Guards, General's Wagons, Regiment's Wagons, 

Regiment de Bose, Field Officers, do., Hospital do., 

A Captain, two Subalterns and one hundred men from 
Lieut. -Col. Webster's Brigade will form a rear guard. 

Head-quarters. Smith's House, 19th Jan., 1781. 
Parole, St. Albans. Countersign, Leipstadt. Friday. 

" The troops to be under arms precisely at two o'clock. 
The corps to march in the same order as this day. The 
officers' bat horses may follow the column. Wagons 
of the army, without exception, will remain on the road 
near Gen. Leslie's quarters until clay-break, when they 
will move under the escort of the Royal North Carolina 
Yolunteers. Lieut. -Col. Hamilton will receive his orders 
from Maj. -General Leslie. The commanding officers of 
the different corps will examine the best communications 
with those on the right, that there may be no delay or 
improper interval when the line is ordered to march. 
Cattle for two days will be sent on at day-break and fol- 
low the march of the troops. 

Head-quarters, Saunders' Plantation, 20th Jan. 1781. 
Parole, Gravesend. Countersign, Windsor. Saturday. 

Any officer who shall observe a break in the line of 
march, will send forward to acquaint Lord Cornwallis or 
the General Officer at the head of the column, and not 
piss the word to halt as has been sometimes practised. 


General after Orders. — The troops will be in readiness 
to march at T o'clock to-morrow morning, in the follow- 
ing order : 

Royal North Carolina Volunteers, Two Six Pounders, 

2 Three-Pounders, Brigade of Guards, 

Lieut Col. Webster's Brigade, Bat horses, 

Regiment De Bose, Wagons as ordered before. 

The detachment of Pioneers under Lieut. Brown, 
will follow the North Carolina regiment, and the Pioneers 
of the different regiments will march with the provision 
train." (Enter N. Carolina.) 

"Head-quarters, 21st Jan. 1181. 

Parole Countersign, Dover. Sunday. 

After Orders. — The undermentioned troops will be in 
readiness to march at half past six o'clock to-morrow 
morning, in the following order : 

Lieut. Col. Tarleton's Corps, Two Six-Pounders, 

Two Three-Pounders, Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, 

Brigade Guards. 

The Bat horses of the above corps will follow the 
column. All wagons and carts are to remain behind, 
except those particularly ordered to go on. A detach- 
ment from the Brigade of Guards will be ordered by 
Brigadier-General O'Hara and one Sergeant, three Cor- 
porals and one hundred and fifty privates from Lieut. - 
Col. Webster's Brigade, to remain with the wagons. 

The women of the different corps are to remain behind 
with the baggage guards. 

Brigade Orders. — Sergeant Hunt will be left to com- 
mand those men left behind when the Brigade marches 
away to-morrow morning. 


Head-quarters, Stise's Plantation, 22d Jan., 1*781. 

Parole. Countersign. 

The troops to be in readiness to march to-morrow 
morning at 1 o'clock, in order as follows : 

Lieut. Col. Tartleton's Corps, Two Six-Pounders, 

Two Three-Pounders, Brigade of Guards, 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, The Bat Horses and Wagons will 

follow the column. 

Head-quarters, Tryon Court-house, 23d Jan. 1*781. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Upon sounding the bugle horn at half past six o'clock 
to-morrow morning, the Bat horses of the army are 
to be loaded, and the troops will be ready to march pre- 
cisely at *l o'clock, in the following order : 

Lieut.-Col. Tartleton's Corps, Lieut.-Col. Webster's Brigade, 

Two Three-Pounders, Provision Wagons, 

Brigade of Guards, Bat Horses of Brigade of Guards, 

Two Six-Pounders, Do. do. of Lt.-Col. Webster's Brig. 

The Pioneers of the different corps will march in front 
of the guns. 

Head-quarters, Ramsour's Mills, 26th Jan., 1*781. 
Parole, Amsterdam. Countersign, Berwick. 
When, upon any occasion, the troops may be ordered to 
march without their packs, it is not intended they should 
leave their camp-kettles and tomahawks behind them. 

Memorandum. — Lord Cornwallis thinks it necessary 
to repeat in orders, regulations respecting negroes and 
horses, and commanding officers of brigades, as well as 
those of corps must be responsible for the due observance 
of them : 

Horses. Negroes, 

Field Officers of Infantry, 3 2 each. 

Captains, Subalterns and Staff, 2 1 

Serg'ts, Maj's, and Quarter-Master Serg'ts, 1 1 

No woman or negro to possess a horse. 


Brigade Orders, 26th Jan., IT 81. 

There being a sufficient quantity of leather to complete 
the brigade in shoes in this village, it is recommended to, 
(and expected) the commanding officers of companies see 
their men's shoes immediately soled and repaired, and if 
possible, that every man, when they move from this ground, 
take in his blanket, one pair of spare soles, as the like 
opportunity may not happen for some time. 

Two officers, eight non-commissioned officers, and one 
hundred privates from the brigade to parade immediately 
in the rear of the guns with all the bat horses of the bri- 
gade, and artillery horses of the army to forage for the 

A proper guide will attend officers for the above duty, 
Captains Swanton and Eld. 

Brigade After Orders. — At one hour after day-break, 
the Pickets, Quarter and Rear Guards of the brigade 
will be called in, that the men may clean and wash them- 
selves thoroughly. 

Head-quarters, Ranisour's Mills, 26th Jan., 1181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Two days flour for the officers, and two days meal for 
the men to the 21th inst,, inclusive, will be issued imme- 

Lord Cornwallis has great pleasure in communicating 
to the troops the following extract of a letter from Lord 
George Germain, dated 9th Nov. 1180. 

"It is particularly pleasing to me to obey his Majesty's 
command by signifying to your Lordship his Royal plea- 
sure, that you do acquaint the officers and soldiers of the 
brave army under your command, that their behaviour on 
the glorious 16th of August is highly approved of by 
their Sovereign ; and you will particularly express to 


Lord Rawdon, Lieut. -Colonels Webster and Tarleton, 
his Majesty's approbation of their judicious and spirited 
conduct ; the latter has, indeed, a double claim to praise for 
his great alertness in overtaking and destroying General 
Sumpter's detachment, and thereby rendering the victory 
at Cambden still more decisive. His Majesty has been 
pleased to appoint Capt. Ross, Major in the army by 

Head-quarters, Ramsour's Mills, 21th Jan., 1181. 
A detachment of two Captains, four Subalterns and one 
hundred and fifty rank and file, are to parade as soon as 
possible in front of General Leslie's Quarters to cover the 
foragers of the different corps. 

Detail. Captains. Subalterns. Rank and file. 

Guards, 1 " 50 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, " 2 40 

Regiment De Bose, ] , 2 f>0 
North Carolina Volunteers, j 

Total 2 4 140 

Brigade Orders, 21th January. 
An exact return to be given in of such sick men as are 
absolutely unable to march, and a return of such men as 
are by lameness bad marchers ; those returns to be made 
out by battalions immediately. 

Head-quarters, Ramsour's Mills, 21th Jan. 1181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

The commanding officers of the different corps to be 
responsible that no more horses are kept than the number 
allowed by the regulations or orders of the 12th inst. 

Those corps who are in want of pick-axes will receive 
an order for them by applying to Maj.-Gen. Leslie. 

After Orders. — Lord Cornwallis has ordered an extra 
gill of rum to be issued to the troops immediately. The 


troops will receive two days meal to-morrow morning, 
and be ready to move at nine. 

Memorandum. — If any black cloth is wanting to repair 
or complete the men in gaiters, it may be had of Major 
England at T o'clock to-morrow morning, near head- 

Head-quarters, Kamsour's Mills, 28th Jan., IT 81. 
The army will march at 11 o'clock in the following 
order : 

Lt.-Col. Tartleton's corps North Carolina Regiment, 

and Yagers, Two Six-Pounders, 

Corps of Pioneers, Brigade Guards, 

Two Three-Pounders, Ammunition and Provision Wagons, 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, General Officers, Bat Horses. 
Two Six-Pounders, 
Regiment De Bose, 

The bat horses of the army will follow with the 
same order as their respective corps. Such sick as are 
not able to march are to be sent to the Quarter-Master 
General's Guard immediately. 

Head-quarters, Beeton's (Beatie's) Ford, 28th Jan., 1*781. 
Parole. Countersign. 

One officer and forty men with the bat horses to 
parade in the road in the front of the first Battalion 
Guards in order to forage. The officers of the different 
corps will give receipts for the forage they take. 

Camp near Beeton's Ford, 28th Jan. 1181. 
Lord Cornwallis has so often experienced the zeal and 
good will of the troops, that he has not the smallest 
doubt that the officers and soldiers will most cheerfully 
submit to the inconveniences which must naturally attend 
a war so remote from water-carriage and the magazines 
of the army. The supply of rum for a time will be abso- 


lutely impossible, and that of meal very uncertain. To 
remedy the latter, it is recommended either to bruise the 
Indian corn, or to rasp it after it has been soaked. Lord 
Cornwallis is convinced the troops believe that he is 
ever most anxiously attentive to procure for them every 
comfort that the nature of the service will admit of. 

As the object of our march is to assist and support 
those loyalists in North Carolina, who have ever been 
distinguished by their fidelity to their King and their 
attachment to Great Britain, it is needless to point out 
to the officers the necessity of preserving the strictest dis- 
cipline and of preventing those oppressed people from 
suffering violence by the hands of those from whom they 
are taught to look for protection. 

To prevent the total destruction of the country and 
the ruin of his Majesty's service, it is necessary that the 
regulation in regard to the number of horses should be 
strictly observed. 

Major- Gen. Leslie will be pleased to require the most 
exact obedience to his orders from the officers command- 
ing brigades and corps. The supernumerary horses that 
may from time to time be discovered, will be sent to 
head- quarters. 

Head-quarters, Bowers' Plantation, 28th Jan. 1181. 

After Orders. — The bat horses are to be loaded and 
the troops in readiness to march, precisely at seven 
o'clock to-morrow morning, in the following order : 

Lt.-Col. Tarleton's corps, Two Six-Pounders, 

Yagers, Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, 

Two Three-Pounders, Cattle for the Army, 

Brigade Guards, Ammunition and Provision Wagons, 

Two Six-Pounders, Bat Horses of General Officers, 

Regiment De Bose, Lt's. of Regiments in the same order 

North Carolina Volunteers, as their different corps. 


Camp, 29th Jan., 1781. 
The officers and men may by sending to the Commis- 
sary receive any proportion of salt they can conveniently 
carry with them. It is understood that the men are 
completed for twenty days. 

Head-quarters, Fawney's Plantation, 29th Jan., 1781. 

As the delivery of provisions will probably be very 
irregular, the regiments are in future to give receipts to 
the Commissary only for such provisions as they receive, 
instead of receipts for complete rations. 

The meal will in future be issued by Messrs. Booth & 
Stedman, Commissaries of Capture ; the other articles 
by the Commissary General's Department. 

Commanding officers of corps are desired to caution 
their men against straggling, as two soldiers were taken 
yesterday very near the encampment. 

Camp, 29th Jan., 1781. 
Parole. Countersign. 

An officer and forty men with a proportion of non- 
commissioned officers will parade at 7 o'clock to-morrow 
morning, at the Artillery Park, to cover the foragers of 
this brigade, the artillery and the provision train, who 
will assemble at the same hour. A Sergeant to be sent 
at half past six o'clock to head-quarters for a guide. 

Brigade Orders. — As the army will not move to- 
morrow morning, it is expected that the men wash, clean 
and repair their necessaries, and that the ammunition is 
properly inspected and dried on the men's blankets in 
the sun, at a distance from the fire, and return per bat- 
talion given in of all damaged cartridges ; the brigade to 
be under arms at four o'clock in the afternoon, with all 
their appointments. 


General Orders, 30th Jan., 1781. 
One officer and fifty privates with a proportion of non- 
commissioned officers, will paracle~immediately and pro- 
ceed to head- quarters, where they will receive further 

Brigade Order. — When the brigade marches, the 
women, and weak and sickly men, will march in the rear 
of the second battalion, and in case the brigade should 
be ordered forward, and they cannot keep up, they will 
form a guard to the baggage park, or that the (baggage) 
may be left in their charge. 

Head-quarters, Fawney's Plantation, 30th Jan., 1781. 
Parole, Gibralter. Countersign, Bergen. 

No sick are to be carried on the wagons upon the 
march, unless it is certified by a Surgeon of the hospital, 
that they are not able to walk or ride on horseback. 
Commanding officers of corps will apply to the Quarter- 
Master General for horses to carry such sick men as are 
unable to march, which horses they will return to him 
again as soon as they arrive at their ground or encamp- 

Head -quarters, Fawney's Plantation, 31st Jan., 1781. 

Orders. — The Bat horses are to be loaded and the 
army in readiness to march, precisely at 9 o'clock in the 
following order : 

Lt. Tarleton's Corps, North Carolina Volunteers, 

Yagers, Two Six-Pounders, 

Corps of Pioneers, Brigade of Guards, 

Two Three-Pounders, Ammunition and Provision "Wagons, 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, Bat Horses of the General Officers, 

Two Six-Pounders, Bat Horses of the Regiments in the 

Regiment of Bose, same order as their respective corps. 


Head-quarters, 21st Jan., 1181. 

The Guards will relieve the Provision Guard and 
General Hospital, do. 

No railing to be burnt on any ground whatever but by 
express permission. 

Head-quarters, 31st Jan. 1181. 
The army will be under arms and ready to march to- 
morrow morning at half past two o'clock, in two columns. 
Major-General Leslie will lead the first column consist- 
ing of the following corps : 

Brigade of Guards, Two Three-Pounders, 

Regiment De Bose, 23d Regiment, 

Half the Pioneers, Lt.-Col. Tarleton's Corps. 

Lieut. -Col. Webster will give orders respecting the 
other column. The wagon-horses are to be harnessed, 
and the Bat horses loaded, ready to move at half 
past five o'clock under the escort of an officer of the 
North Carolina regiment. 

Brigade Orders. — Quarter-Master Furnival will be left 
in charge of the baggage, sick, convalescents and women 
of the brigade, and will apply at five o'clock to-morrow 
morning to Lieut. -Col. Hamilton, Commanding Officer 
of the North Carolina regiment for other instructions, 
and will in every respect consider himself as responsible 
for this charge, and for the conduct of the men under 
his command. 

As the Surgeons and all the Mates will march with 
the brigade, it is expected proper medicines and dress- 
ings are left for the sick, with directions for the same. 

N. B. Horses will be applied for by Quarter-Master 
Furnival to the Quarter-Master General in proper time 
for the conveniency of the sick. 


" Head-quarters, Cross roads to Salisbury, 

1st Feb., 1181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

The Bat horses are to be loaded and the army under 
arms, ready to march, at half-past five o'clock, to-morrow 
morning, in the following order : 

Lt. Col. Tarleton's Corps, Regiment De Bose, 

Yagers, North Carolinians, 

Corps of Pioneers, Two six-pounders, 

Two three-pounders, Brigade of Guards, 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, Ammunition and Prov'n Wagons. 

Two six-pounders, Bat horses as usual. 

Head-quarters, Canthard's Plantation, 2d Feb., It 81. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Orders. — Lord Cornwallis is highly displeased that 
several houses were set on fire during the march this day, 
a disgrace to the army, and that he will punish with the 
utmost severity any person or persons who shall be found 
guilty of committing so disgraceful an outrage. His 
Lordship requests the commanding officers of corps will 
endeavor to find out the persons who set fire to the 
houses this day. 

The Bat horses to be loaded and the army ready 
to march at f o'clock in the morning. At 5 o'clock 
the corps will give in the balls of the damaged cart- 
ridges, and receive sufficient to complete them to forty 
rounds per man. 

After Orders, 2d Feb., 1Y81. 

The troops to march to-morrow morning in the follow- 
ing order : 

Cavalry, Two Six-Pounders, 

Yagers, Regiment De Bose, 

Two Three-Pounders, Two Six-Pounders, 

Brigade Guards, Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade. 


The Bat horses to follow the infantry. An officer 
and thirty men from Lieut. -Col. Webster's Brigade to 
march in the rear of the brigade Bat horses The wheel- 
carriages of the army will follow the line of march with 
all convenient expedition, under the escort of Lieut. -Col. 
Hamilton's regiment and a detachment of one officer and 
twenty men from the three battalions of Lieut. -Col. 
Webster's Brigade, twenty men from the Brigade of 
Guards, and. an officer and twenty men from the Regi- 
ment of Bose ; this detachment to be commanded by a 
Captain of Col. Webster's Brigade. The respective 
corps are to send serviceable men on this service, but not 
the best marchers. 

Camp at Cassington, 2d Feb., 1781. 

After Orders. — Lord Cornwallis desires the Brigade 
of Guards will accept his warmest acknowledgments for 
the cool and determined bravery which they showed at 
the passage of the Catawba when rushing through that 
long and difficult ford under a galling fire without return- 
ing a shot, gives him a most pleasing prospect of what 
may be expected from that distinguished corps. 

The spirited behaviour of Lieut. -Col. Tarleton and 
the officers and soldiers of the British Legion, at the 
attack of a large body of infantry posted behind rails and 
in strong houses, does them infinite honor, and it is a 
proof that they are determined to preserve the reputa- 
tion which they have so deservedly acquired in the course 
of this war. 

Brigade Orders, 3d Feb., 1781. 

Captain Goodricke is appointed to the Light Infantry, 
and Ensign Stuart to the 2d Company. 


Orders.— 12 o'clock, 4th Feb., 1*781. 

The Butchers of the several corps will assemble at the 
six-pounders, in the road, to slaughter cattle immediately. 

It is expected in future, when the Brigade of Guards 
is ordered to march, that they will assemble to move pre- 
cisely within a quarter of an hour's notice. 

The officers of this part of the army will not pitch any 
tent on this ground. 

Camp, Trading Ford, Yadkin River, 4th Feb., It 81. 

The regiments will send the Quarter Masters and 
Quarter Master Sergeants to receive their proportion 
of pork and meal at the Park above the Ferry. A 
foraging party, consisting of one officer and sixty men, 
with all the Bat horses of the command, with all the 
artillery and wagon horses, will parade immediately at 
the Artillery Park, where a guide will attend and con- 
duct them. 

Detail. Officers. Sergeants. Corporals. Privates. 

Guards, 1 2 2 40 

Reg't De Bose, 1 1 20 

Total. 1 3 3 60 

Head-quarters, Trading Ford, Yadkin River, 

4th Feb., 1781. 
Parole, Gosport. Countersign, Godalmin. 

After orders, — 8 o'clock at night. 
The corps will receive a proportion of flour by sending 
to Mr. Brindley, Commissary, at his wagon in Salisbury 
road, between the Brigade of Guards and the Regiment 
De Bose. Also a small dividend of beer for the officers. 
This issue will be made immediately. 


Morning orders — 5th Feb., 1781. 
A foraging party, consisting of two Captains, two 
Subalterns and two hundred privates to parade at the 
guns at 8 o'clock, with the artillery, wagons and Bat 
horses of the command. A proper guide will attend. 
Every batman and driver will take a ticket with his 
master's name in his pocket, and the officers of the dif- 
ferent corps will give receipts for the quantity of forage 
they receive. 

Detail. Captains. Sub's Serg'ts. Corporals. Privates. 

Brigade Guards, 2 4 4 120 

Keg't de Bose, "2 3 3 80 

Total. 2 2 7 7 200 

The officers commanding the party will attend General 
O'Hara for further orders. 

Feb. 5th, 1*81. 

The troops will receive a proportion of flour by sending 
to the Commissary's wagons, near the General's tent. 

The flank companies of the Guards will relieve the Ferry 
Guard of one Sergeant, one Corporal and eighteen men. 

Head-quarters, Salisbury, 5th Feb., 1781. 
It is with great concern that Lord Cornwallis acquaints 
the army that he has lately received the most shocking 
complaints of the excesses committed by the troops. He 
calls in the most serious manner on the officers com- 
manding, and Corps to put a stop to this licentious- 
ness, which must inevitably bring disgrace and ruin on 
his Majesty's service. He is convinced that it is in their 
power to prevent it, and has seen so many proofs of their 
zeal for the service of their country that he cannot doubt 
of their utmost exertions to detect and punish offenders 
without which the blood of the brave and deserving sol- 


diers will be shed in vain, and it will not be even in the 
power of victory to give success. 

Great complaints having been made of negroes strag- 
gling from the line of march, plundering and using vio- 
lence to the inhabitants, it is Lord Cornwallis' positive 
orders that no negro shall be suffered to carry arms on 
any pretence, and all officers and other persons who 
employ negroes, are desired to acquaint them that the 
Provost Marshal has received orders to seize and punish 
on the spot any negro following the army who may offend 
against this regulation. 

Orders — 2 o'clock, Morning, Feb. 6, 1T81. 
The troops will be ready to march this morning pre- 
cisely at five o'clock, in the following order — observing 
the strictest silence in getting off their ground and during 
the march. 

Line of March. 

1st Company 1 Battalion Guards, 2 Battalion Guards, 
Commissary's wagons, Hessian Picquets, 

Bat horses and women, 2 six-pounders, 

The two rear guards of the Brigade Grenadiers, 

Guards and prisoners, Light Infantry. 

2d Company 1st Battalion Guards, 

The regiments will flank the left with one officer and 
thirty privates each — their baggage with one corporal 
and six each. 

The flanking parties will take care to keep sight of the 
line of march. The line to march in half platoons and 
all or any extraordinaries to be reported to Brigadier 
General O'Hara, in the rear of the First Company. The 
whole will march into the Salisbury road by the right, 
calling in the pickets and parties a quarter of an hour 
before the hour of march, and wait till further orders. 
The Light Infantry Company will march by double files, 


so as to be able to form to the rear if occasion requires. 
The corps will send at a proper time a non-commissioned 
officer to the preceding corps to inform themselves 
when they move, that the whole may be formed in proper 
time and order, without noise. 

N. B. — The head of the column to point to Salisbury. 
The Bat. horses to parade, without noise, at the guns. 

Head-quarters, 6th Feb'y, 1781. 

The army to be under arms and ready to march pre- 
cisely at 6 o'clock to-morrow morning in the following 
order : 

Yagers, Hamilton's Corps, 

Cavalry, 2 six-pounders, 

2 three-pounders, Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, 

Brigade Guards, Bat horses, 

2 six-pounders, Wagons. 

Regiment de Bose, 

An officer and thirty men of Lieut. Col.. Webster's 
Brigade to march with the Bat horses. The officer will 
be answerable for any irregularties committed by the Bat 
men. A captain and one hundred men of Lieut. Col. 
Webster's Brigade ; an officer and fifty men of the Regi- 
ment of Bose, and an officer and twelve Dragoons will 
march in the rear of the wagons. It is expected that the 
Captain will exert himself to keep good order, and pre- 
vent plundering. Should any complaint be made of the 
wagoners and followers of the army it must necessarily 
be imputed to neglect on his part. All officers are most 
earnestly requested to seize any militia or followers of the 
army who go into houses and commit excesses, and report 
them to Head-quarters. As soon as the troops come to 
their ground, any officer who looks on with indifference, 
and does not do his utmost to prevent the shameful 


marauding which has of late prevailed in the army, will 
be considered in a more criminal light than the persons 
who commit those scandalous crimes, which must bring 
disgrace and ruin on his Majesty's arms. 

Head-quarters, 8 o'clock at night, Tth .Feb., 1*181 
General orders. — The army will march at half-past six 
in the morning. 

Feb. 8th, 1181. 

The Regiment of Guards will relieve the Provision 
Guards of one Sergeant, one Corporal and eighteen men. 

As soon as the wagons come up one day's rum will be 
issued to the troops at the same time. 

Head-quarters, Lindsay's Plantation, 8th Feb., 1781. 

Orders. — The army to be under arms and ready to 
march at half- past six to-morrow morning, in the follow- 
ing order : 

Yagers, North Carolinians, 

Cavalry, 2 six-pounders, 

Half the Pioneers, Brigade of Guards, 

2 three-pounders, Bat horses, 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, Half the Pioneers, 

2 six-pounders, Wagons, 

Regiment of Bose, An officer and twelve Dragoons will 
march with the rear guard. 

General Orders, 9th Feb., 1781. 

Lord Cornwallis having perceived that many soldiers 
from different corps are coming into town, and seemingly 
for the purpose of getting liquor ; He begs it may be 
told to the men that if they commit such irregularities, he 
shall not think it necessary to trouble the Commissaries 
in providing any more rum for them. 



9th Feb'y, T o'clock, at night. 
The troops to receive to-morrow morning at six o'clock 
an allowance of Rum, and to be in readiness to march at 
seven o'clock. 

Head- quarters, Miller's Plantation, 10th Feb., 1181. 

The Bat horses to be loaded and the troops under 
arms ready to march precisely at half-past six o'clock to- 
morrow morning. 



Half the Pioneers, 

2 three-Pounders, 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, 

2 six-Pounders, 

Regiment of Bose, 

N. Carolina Volunteers, 
2 six Pounders, 
Regiment Guards, 
Bat. horses, 
Half the Pioneers, 

An Officer and 12 Dragoons will 
march with the Rear Guard. 

The Quarter-Master Sergeant of each Corps is to 
march with the Bat horses. Mr. Ryder Buie is ap- 
pointed Inspector of Refugees for the Province of North 

After Orders, 10th Feb., 1181. 

The different Corps will send to the Commissary at 
five o'clock to-morrow morning to receive a proportion 
of meal. 

Head-quarters, 10th Feb., 1181. 

The Bat horses to be loaded and the troops under arms 
ready to march precisely at six o'clock to-morrow morning, 
in the following order : 

Yagers, N. Carolina Volunteers, 

Cavalry, 2 six-Pounders, 

Half the Pioneers, Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, 

2 three-Pounders, Bat horses, 

Brigade of Guards, Half the Pioneers, 

2 six-Pounders, Wagons, 

Regiment of Bose, An Officer and 12 Dragoons will 
march with the Rear Guard. 


Head-quarters, 12th Feb., 1181. 
The Bat horses to be loaded and the troops under arms 
ready to march at half-past five o'clock to-morrow 

Head-quarters, 13th Feb., 1781. 

The Bat horses to be loaded and the troops under 
arms ready to march at half-past five o'clock to-morrow 
morning, in the following order : 

2 three-Pounders, Lieut. Col. "Webster's Brigade, 

Brigade Guards, Bat horses. 

2 six-Pounders, 

Brigade Orders, 8 o'clock at night, 14th Feb., 1781. 

It having been signified to Brigadier-Gen. O'Hara, 
that Lord Cornwallis means to make a forward move in 
the morning of twenty-five miles, in a rapid manner, and 
totally to effect the purposes of every late exertion it is 
wished Commanding Officers of Battalions will signify 
the same to their respective Corps, in order to ascertain 
at four o'clock to-morrow morning what men will be 
able to undertake the same, and what may be left behind. 

After Orders, 9 o'clock at night. 

The army will march precisely at four o'clock in the 
morning. The Officers are expected to take with them 
no more baggage but their canteens, and the men will 
leave their packs behind them under the charge of such 
men or any that may not be able to march. The returns 
called for in Brigade Orders will be ready at four o'clock 
in the morning, taking care not to disturb the men in 
their rest. 


Head-quarters, Wiley's House, 15th Feb., 1*781. 
The troops to be under arms and ready to march pre- 
cisely at half-past five o'clock to-morrow morning, in the 
following order : 

Regiment De Bose, 2 three-Pounders, 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade. Brigade of Guards, 

2 six-Pounders, 

Orders, 16th Feb., 1181. 
A Sergeant and 18 men from those who have been 
resting in camp, to parade immediately at the guns with 
the Bat horses of the Brigade to forage. A guide and 
further directions will be given by Major England. 

Brigade Orders, 16th Feb., 1181. 
The duty of the Camp to be taken this day and to-mor- 
row by the men who stopped behind the last march and 
rested. To-morrow being a halting day, it is desired the 
men may employ it in washing and cleaning themselves. 

After Orders. 
States of Companies with all alterations since last re- 
turn to be given in to the Adjutants immediately, that 
they may be able to send them when collected to the 
Majors of Brigades by five o'clock this evening. The 
Mill Guard to parade at daybreak in the morning at the 
Artillery Park. The foraging parties of the different 
Corps and departments of the army to parade at seven 
o'clock to-morrow morning, with an escort of a subaltern 
and 20 men from each Battalion. The Guards give a 
Quarter-Master instead of a Subaltern. Lieut. Colonel 
"Webster's Brigade give a Captain for this party. 



Guard at Thomas' 


Capt. £ 




Brigade Guards, 





(Jol. Webster's, 





Brigade De Bose, 




Henry's Mills, 





N. C. Volunteers, 




Ld. Cornwallis' Guard, 



Reg't Bose, Maj. 





Webster's Brigade 

i, Provision Guard, 




Cattle Guard, 



Provision Guard, 




Head-quarters, Dobbin's house, nth Feb., 1181. 

Lord Cornwallis is very sorry to be again obliged to 
call the attention of the Officers of the Army to the re- 
peated orders against plundering. He desires that the 
Orders given on the 28th Jan., 4th Feb., and the 16th 
Feb. may be read at the head of each Troop and 
Company on each of the three first halting days, and he 
assures the Officers that if their duty to their King and 
Country and their feelings for humanity are not sufficient 
to enforce their obedience to them, he must however re- 
luctant make use of such power as the military laws have 
placed in his hands. 

1st extract from Orders to be read, 28th Jan., " As the 
object of our march is to support and assist those Royal- 
ists in N. Carolina," &c, &c. 

2d extract, 4th Feb., Salisbury, " It is with great con- 
cern Lord Cornwallis acquaints the Army," &c. 

3d extract, 6th Feb., "Any Officer who looks on with 
indifference, and does not do his utmost to prevent the 
shameful," &c, &c. 


Detail of Duties : 

S. S. c. D. P. 

Lord Comwallis' Guard, "11" 12 Br. G. 

Gen. Leslie's and Cattle, " " 2 12R.DeB. 

Provision Guard, 
Provost Guard, 









Total, 3 6 - 54 

To be relieved when the troops come up in case of a 
further halt at 12 o'clock to-morrow. 

After Orders. 

The Bat horses to be loaded and the Troops under 
arms, ready to march at half-past five o'clock to-morrow 
morning, in the following order : 

Calvary, Two Six-Pounders, 

Yagers, Brigade of Guards, 

Pioneers, Bat horses, 

Two Three-Pounders, Wagons. 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, Bear Guards. 

Brigade Orders, 2 o'clock, 18th Feb., 1181. 

The Pickets of the Brigade to consist of two Sergeants, 
two Corporals, and twenty-four privates from each Bat- 
talion, to be posted in the following order : Two Sergeants 
and twenty-four privates in the centre of the Brigade, in 
the Road in front of the Guns ; 1 Sergeant and 12 in front 
of the Outward flanks of each Battalion, to communicate 
with the Centre Picket from the Right to the Picket of 
the 23d Right, Posted in the Great Hillsboro' Road, on 
the Left. 

General Orders. 

A foraging party consisting of 1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal 
and 18 privates, to parade immediately in the Great 
Hillsboro' Road, on the left of the Brigade of Guards. 
The Bat horses, &c, will attend. The Officers will take 
care that the Bat men observe in the strictest manner 
General Orders 


After General Orders. — The Army will march in the 
morning at half past five o'clock. The Brigade of 
Guards lead the column. Bat men follow Lieut. Col. 
Webster's Brigade. 

Armstrong's Plantation, 19th Feb., 1181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

All passes to be taken from the people going out at 
the Posts or Pickets of the Army, and sent from thence 
in the morning to Head-quarters. The Brigade of Guards 
will relieve Lord Cornwallis' Guard of 1 Sergeant, 1 Cor- 
poral and 12 privates, to-morrow as soon as the Troops 
come to their ground. 

Brigade Orders. 
A Court of Enquiry consisting of Three Field Officers, 
to assemble at the President's tent at half-past five o'clock 
this evening, to enquire into such matters as shall be laid 
before it. Lieut. Col. Norton, President; Lieut. Col. 
Stewart, Lieut. Col. Pennington, members. 

Head-quarters, Armstrong's, 19th Feb., 1781- 
Regulation concerning horses and negroes repeated. 

For the Calvary. Horses. Negroes. 

Lieut. Colonel, 10 4 

Captain, 7 2 

Subaltern, 5 2 

Sergeant, 3 4 

Quarter-Master, 2 4 


Field-Officers, (besides Bat horses,) 3 2 

Captains, 3 1 

Subalterns, eacb, 2 1 

Quarter-Master Sergeant and Sergeant-Major, 1 1 

The Quarter-Master of each regiment may have eight 
negroes to assist him in receiving provisions and other 


regular business. Each negro is to have a ticket with 
his master's name, signed by the Commanding Officer of 
the Corps or the head of the department to which he 
belongs. Officers who have more than one negro will 
number each ticket. The Deputy Provost has received 
orders to seize and detain any negro who has not a ticket 
agreeable to the above Order. All servants and Bat 
men are to have tickets for the horses they ride or had 
signed as before mentioned. 

Brigade Memorandum. — No officer from the British 
Legion having appeared at the Court of Enquiry to give 
Evidence, the Officers who composed the same will look 
upon themselves as adjourned till the Troops come to 
their ground to-morrow. 

After Orders, 8 o'clock at night. 
The Army will march at half-past six o'clock to-mor- 
row morning. The Column will be led by Lieut. Col. 
Webster's Brigade. The Brigade of Guards gives the 
Rear-Guard and forms the same. 

Brigade Orders. 
The 2d Company, 1st Battalion, form the Rear- 

Head-quarters, Hillsboro', 20th Feb., 1T81. 
The different corps will send their Quarter Masters 
to Sharp Grinney's for half hides, in the following pro- 
portion : 

Guards, . . . . 10 hides. 







Regiment De Bose, 


North Carolina Volunteers, 



The Brigade of Guards furnish the town guard to- 
morrow, consisting of one Captain, three Sergeants, four 
Corporals, one drummer and fifty privates. One Corporal 
and six privates of which are to be detached to the Mill 
Guard. The Quarter Master from the Brigade, with all 
his blacks, will attend at 12 o'clock every day, to bury 
the offal at the cattle-pen. 

Brigade orders. — The Picket to consist of one Lieu- 
tenant, four Sergeants, four Corporals, one drummer, 
sixty privates, to march precisely at 4 o'clock this after- 
noon. The Adjutant in waiting will show the officer the 

Camp near Hillsboro', 21st Feb., 1781. 

Brigade Morning orders. — As the army will halt on 
this ground for some days, it is recommended to the 
commanding officers to see this opportunity is employed 
in thoroughly repairing the men's clothing, necessaries 
and appointments, as well as the completing of their shoes. 

Memorandum. — An inspection of ammunition, flints, 
&c, to be made, and a return to be given in. 

Morning general orders. — The army will forage this 
morning at 10 o'clock. It is to be understood when the 
Infantry forage on a halt, or in a first position, that they 
bring three days forage with them. 

Brigade orders. — One officer and twenty men, with all 
the battalion horses of the brigade to be at the artillery 
park at 10 o'clock. 

All officers and men of the Guards and Light Infantry 
Companies on duty to be relieved, and the men get them- 
selves clean and ready to march by 12 o'clock this day, 
in order to attend the ceremony of hoisting the King's 
standard at Hillsborough, at one o'clock. Two additional 
officers will be posted to those companies for this day. 


Captains Richardson and Stuart will join the Grena- 
dier Company ; Captain Maitlancl the Light Infantry. 
The Grenadier and Light Infantry Companies will meet 
at the forks of the road leading to Taylor's Ferry and 
Hillsborough, at half-past 12 o'clock. 

Head- quarters, (Morning orders,) Hillsboro', 

21st Feb., mi. 

The commanding officer of artillery will erect the 
Royal Standard at 10 o'clock to-day, and fire twenty-one 

General after orders, 12 o'clock, noon. 

The orders respecting the erecting the Royal Standard 
at 12 o'clock this day, is countermanded till to-morrow, 
when the same troops will hold themselves in readiness to 
attend at the same hour as ordered this day. 

Head- quarters, Hillsboro', 21st Feb., 1181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

All inhabitants of the country who are conducted by 
Mr. James Minnis or persons deputed by him, are to 
be permitted to pass the outposts. 








Lord Gornwallis' Guard, 







Gen. Leslie's, 







Provision Guard, 







Kellow's Mills, 
















Cattle Guard, 







Town Guard, 






40 j 

' Brigade 
de Bose. 

Brigade orders. — All the collar makers of the brigade 
to be sent to Lieutenant McLeod, commanding the 
Royal Artillery, at 1 o'clock, to-morrow morning, with 
two smiths. The tanners will attend Lieutenant Colonel 
Hamilton at the same hour, for further directions. 


Hillsboro', 22d Feb., 1181. 
The Court of Enquiry ordered to sit some days past, 
will assemble at the President's tent at 5 o'clock this 

Head-quarters, Hillsboro', 22d Feb., 1781. 
Parole. Countersign. 

It is with great concern that Lord Cornwallis hears 
every day reports of the soldiers being taken by the 
enemy, in consequence of their straggling out of camp in 
search of whiskey. He strictly enjoins all officers and 
non-commissioned officers commanding the out-posts and 
pickets of the army to do their utmost to prevent any 
soldier from passing them 

The commanding officers of corps are requested to pay 
their utmost attention to keeping their men in camp. 
Lord Cornwallis trusts that there is so much honor and 
noble spirit in the soldiers, that at a time when Great 
Britian has so many enemies and his country has so much 
occasion for his services, he will render himself unservice- 
able to it during the whole war, and of passing some 
years in a loathsome prison, subject to the bitter insults 
of the Rebels, for the chance of a momentary gratification 
of his appetite. 

Detail of duties. Cap. 

Kellows' Mill, •' 

Maj. Gen. Leslie's, " 

Provision wagons, " 

Lord Cornwallis, " 

Provost, " 

Cattle, " 

Town Guard, 1 

Brigade orders. — Ensign Stuart for the mill duty, 

and to be allowed an Overstance in the Roster of Pickets. 

The tents to be struck, and the officers' baggage loaded 










20 ) Brigade of 
6 j Guards. 









9 ) 





12:Regiuient De 





9[Bose, and N. 
6)Ca. Vol. 









40 Lt. Col Web's Br 


ready to move (to change their ground) at 10 o'clock, 
to-morrow morning, at which time the men will be under 

Brigade orders, 23d Feb., 1181. 

A foraging party, consisting of one Captain and twenty 
men to parade at the guns at ten o'clock, with all the 
Bat horses of the brigade. 

It having appeared before the Court of Enquiry of the 
Brigade that Edward Norman, soldier in the 3d Com- 
pany, 2d Battalion, confined on suspicion of desertion, is 
innocent of the charge. He is therefore ordered to be 
released from confinement. 

Head-quarters, Hillsboro', 23d Feb., 1T81. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Detail. C. S. L. C. D. Pr. 
Town Guard, 1 2 1 4 " 40 }» Brigade Guards. 

Lord Cornwallis', 1 1 " 12 ^ 

Provision wagons, 11" 9 I Lt. Col. Webster's Brigade. 

Provost Guard, 11" 9 J 

Kellow's Mills, 
Maj. Gen. Leslie's, 
Cattle Guard, 

3 3 * 


1 « 

1 ' 

< 30 

' 20 1 

' 'I 

1 Reg't De Bose, 
Y and 
N. Ca. Volunteers. 

1 1 3 " 32 

Quarter Master for to-morrow. Brigade of Guards. 
Orderly Sergeant for General Leslie's Regiment. De 
Bose and North Carolina Volunteers. 

Brigade orders. — Corporal Leiman, with three of the 
best carpenters, and all the collar and harness makers of 
the brigade to be at Lieutenant McLeod's tent to-morrow 
morning by daybreak. 

K B. — The whole of the smiths and tanners of the 
brigade at present employed, to be excused duty (though 
expected to conform to Camp hours in the evening) till 
further orders. 


Brigade Morning order, (24,) 26th Feb., 1181. 

The Pickets of the Brigade will be in future of the fol- 
lowing strength : 

One officer, 





First Battalion, 





Second Battalion, 





Light Infantry, 








Total, one officer. 6 10 2 14 

This Picket will mount to-day at 12 o'clock, but in 
future will be relieved one hour before day -break in the 
morning ; the old Picket will remain with the new one 
till 8 o'clock in the morning, when they will return to 
camp. The ground to be occupied by the Picket as 
pointed out by General O'Hara yesterday. 

Head-quarters, Hillsboro', (24,) 26th Feb., 1181. 
Parole, Canterbury. Countersign, Rutland. 

Detail. Cap. S. L. C. P. 

Lord Cornwallis' Guard, ] 1 12 

Provision wagon guard, 11 9 

Cattle guard, 1 6 

2 3 27 

Kellow's Mill, 1 1 1 20 

Provost guard, 11 9 j- Lt. Col. Webster's Brig. 

Maj. Gen. Leslie's, 1 6 J 

1 2 3 35 
Town guard, 1 1 1 1 40 [- Reg. De Bose, N. C. V. 

Quarter Master for to-morrow, Lieut. Col. Webster's 
Brigade. Orderly Sergeant at Major General Leslie's 
Brigade of Guards. 


General after orders, (24,) 26th Feb., 1181. 

The battalion horses to be loaded and the troops under 
arms, ready to march, precisely at 4 o'clock this after- 

A working party, consisting of one Captain, two Sub- 
alterns, six Sergeants, six Corporals, three Drummers, 
one hundred privates, to assemble at the town guard, in 
Hillsboro', to-morrow morning, at T o'clock. 

Cap. Sub. Serg. Cor. D. Priv. 

Guards, 1 2 2 1 35 

Lieutenant Col. Webster's, 1 2 1 1 40 

Reg. De Bose and N. C. Vol., 1 2 2 1 25 

Total. 12 6 5 3 100 

The men to march from their respective camps with 
arms. (This was for the removal over the Eno.) 

Morning Orders, 25th Feb'y, IT 81. 
A foraging party consisting of two sergeants; two cor- 
porals and twenty-four privates, under the command of 
Quarter-master Furnival, will parade in the open field in 
front of the Brigade at nine o'clock. Officers are desired 
to send horses enough ; to bring forage enough for two 
or three days. 

" Head-Quarters, Wiley's Plantation, 25th Feb'y, 1T81. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Detail. Capt. Sub. Serg. Corpl. Private. 

Lord Cornwallis' Guard, " 
Provision Wagons, " 

Major-General Leslie's, " 





9 guards. 






70 Lt. Col. Webster, 
21 Reg't., de Bose, 
6 N.Carolina Vol. 

Town Guard, 1 

Provost Guard, " 

Cattle Guard, " 

2 3 27 

Quarter-Master, to-morrow Regiment of Bose. 



After Orders. — The Bat horses to be loaded, and 
the troops under arms ready to march at half past five 
o'clock to-morrow morning in the following order. 

Advanced Guard consisting of the Cavalry, Light 
Infantry Guards and Yagers, under command of Lieu- 
tenant Col. Tarleton. 

2 three-pounders, Bat horses, 

Brigade of Guards, 2 six-pounders, 

2 six-pounders, Lieut. Col. "Webster's Brigade, 

Regiment DeBose, A detachment of Cavalry, j 

N. Carolina Volunteers, 

" On the 26th," Tarleton says, "the royal army marched 
by the left, passed through Hillsboro' and pointed their 
course towards the Haw." 

Camp near the Haw River, 27th Feb'y, 1781. 

Countersign, Portland. 

The army will be under arms and ready to march 
precisely at ten o'clock this morning. 

Brigade Orders. — It is "expected that in future no 
Bat men or servants presume to quit the camp for the 
purpose (or under pretence) of foraging but by general 
order or on application to the commanding officer of the 

"Camp near the Haw River, 28th Feb'y, 1781. 

The army will forage this morning at 8 o'clock. This 
morning, the whole to assemble at the guns. 

The regiments will send the usual proportion of men 
and officers. 


"Head Quarters, Freeland's, 28th Feb'y, 1181." 

Parole Vienna, C. Sign, Prague. 

Detail Sergt. Corpl. Private. 
Regiment i Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 1 12 

of Guards. J Cattle, "16 

General Hospital, "1 3 

1 3 21 

Lieu't Col. Webster, Provost Guard, 1 2 21 

Regiment of Bose, Maj. Gen. Leslie's, "16 

And N. Carolina Volunteer's Provision Wagons, "16 

Quarter Master for the day. Brigade of Guards 
Orderly Sert. for Geu. Leslie, Lieu't Col. Webster's 

Memorandum. — A watch found by the Regiment of 
Bose, the owner may have it from the Adjutant of that 
Regiment on proving his property. 

"Head Quarters, Freeland's Plantation, 28th Feb'y, 1181. 

After Orders. — The Bat horses to be loaded and 
the Troops under arms ready to march precisely at six 
o'clock, to-morrow morning in the following order. 

Cavalry, I Regiment De Bose, 

Yagers, and [Advanced Royal N. Carolina Volunteers, 

Light Infantry / Guard. Two six-pounders, 

Guards. ] Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, 

Two three-pounders, Bat horses and wagons of the army. 
Brigade of Guards, 
Two six-Pounders, 

A Captain, three subalterns and one hundred and fifty 
men from Lieutenant-Colonel Webster's Brigade, with a 
detachment of cavalry, will march in the rear of the 


March 1st, 1781. 
Brigade Orders. — A foraging party consisting of one 
officer ; two sergeants ; two corporals ; one drummer and 
twenty-four privates, to assemble at the guns, as soon as 
the Bat horses arrive. 

"Camp, Smith's Plantation, 1st March, 1781. 
Parole, Annapolis. Countersign, Hague. 

The Regiments relieve their duties as per last detail. 

Brigade Orders. — It is Brigadier-General O'Hara's 
orders, that the officers commanding companies, cause an 
immediate inspection of the articles of clothing at present 
in possession of the women in their companies and an exact 
account taken thereof by the pay Sergeants, after which 
their necessaries are to be examined at proper opportu- 
nities and every article found in addition thereto, burned 
at the head of the company ; except such as have been 
fairly purchased on application to the commanding officers 
and regularly added to their former list by the Sergeants 
as above. 

The officers are likewise ordered to make these examina- 
tions at such times and in such a manner as to prevent the 
women (supposed to be the source of the most infamous 
plundering) from evading the purport of this order. 

N. B. — This inspection, to be made at four o'clock, 
this day. 

A woman having been robbed of a watch, a black silk 
handkerchief, a gallon of peach brandy, and one shirt, 
and as by the description by a Soldier of the Guards, the 
camp and every man's kit — is to be immediately searched 
for, the same by the officers of Brigade. 


"Brigade Morning Orders, 2d March, 1^81." 

A foraging party consisting of one Officer, two Ser- 
geants, two Corporals and twenty-four Privates to 
assemble at the guns this morning at eight o'clock with 
the Bat horses. 

Notwithstanding every order, every entreaty that Lord 
Cornwallis has given to the army to prevent the shame- 
ful practice of plundering and distressing the country and 
those orders backed by every effort that can have been 
made by Brigadier General O'Hara, he is shocked to 
find this evil still prevails, and ashamed to observe that 
the frequent complaints he receives from Head-quarters of 
the irregularity of the Guards, particularly affects the credit 
of this corps. He therefore, calls upon the officers, non 
commissioned officers, and those men who are yet possessed 
of the feelings of humanity and actuated by the best prin- 
ciples of soldiers, the love of their Country, the good of 
the Service, and the honor of their own corps, to assist 
with the same indefatigable diligence, the General him- 
self is determined to persevere in — in order to detect 
and punish all men and women so offending, with the 
utmost severity and example. 

The General is convinced the exertions of the officers 
alone will not so immediately bring about this reformation 
as requisite, but he trusts he may have the greatest depend- 
ence on the assistance of the non-commissioned officers and 
every good soldier, many of whom he knows are above these 
practices. The General has wished not to trouble the 
men with too many frequent Roll-calls, but he is sorry 
to find his intentions are frustrated by their irregularity, 
and is therefore, obliged to order the most frequent Roll- 
calls, and that all men absent therefrom shall be deemed 
disobedient of orders, tried and punished before the com- 


pan j on the spot. Women to attend all Roll-calls in the 
rear of the companies, (except such as are in the service of 
officers,) any and every one found absent to be imme- 
diately whipped and drummed out of the brigade. 

The Commandants are desired to proceed to the trial 
of those men offending yesterday and to put the sentence 
of the Court Martial in execution immediately in the pres- 
ence of all the officers. 

N". B. — The women to attend all punishments. 

Head-quarters, Smith's Plantation, 2d March, 1Y81 
Parole, Stockholm. Countersign, Bergen. 

Detail, Serg't. Corp. Privates. 

•g j Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 1 ]2 

J ] Cattle, do. 1 6 

« \ Dr. Grant's, do. 1 3 

« I Total, 1 3 21 

Orderly Sergeant at Gen. Leslie's. Guards to relieve 
at three o'clock. 

After Orders. — All passes granted to persons going 
out of Camp, are to be taken from them at the out-posts 
and returned to Head-quarters. 

A working party with arms, consisting of one Captain, 
one Subaltern and Fifty rank and file, with the pioneers of 
the different corps to parade at six o'clock to-morrow 
morning in front of the Brigade of Guards. 

Detail for the Working Party. 

Captain. Subalt'n. Serg't. Rank & File. 
Brigade of Guards, 1 " 1 25 

Colonel Webster's, 1 1 25 

1 1 2 50 


"Brigade After Orders. — The Pickets of the brigade 
to be relieved one hour before daybreak to-morrow morn- 
ing. The old Picket to remain with the new till sunrise. 

Head-quarters, Smith's Plantation, 3d March, 1781. 
Parole, Gibralter. Countersign, Lisbon. 

Detail, Brigade Guards. Sergeants. Corporals. Privates. 
Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 1 12 

Provision "Wagons, "16 

Hospital do. "13 

1 3 21 

Lieut. Col. "Webster's Provost Guard, 1 1 21 

N. C. Volunteers, Gen. Leslie's, 1 6 

Quarter-Master, Lieut. Colonel Webster's Brigade, and 
Orderly Sergeant to Gen. Leslie's. The Cattle Guard to 
be taken off. 

Brigade Order. — A Sergeant, Corporal and 12 privates 
to parade immediately, with 1 Subaltern, 1 Sergeant, 1 
Corporal and 18 privates of Lieut. Colonel Webster's 
Brigade, at the Wagons, as an escort. 

Brigade Morning Orders, 4th March, 1781. 
The Picket to be relieved as before ordered ; the of- 
ficers will continue with the whole of the Pickets till 8 
o'clock in the morning, when they will all return to 
Camp, leaving a Sergeant and 18 privates on each 
Picket. The Officers of the Pickets for the day will 
visit them in the course thereof, and rejoin with the rest 
of them at half-past four in the afternoon ; or in case of 
any alarm or firing, immediately march to their post, for 
which purpose the men will be ready accoutred, and their 
arms piled separate from the Battalions, as an Inlying 


Head-quarters, Smith's Plantation, 4th March, 1181. 
Parole, Manheim. Countersign, Torbay. 

Detail for the Brigade of Guards the same as yester- 
day. Orderly Sergeant for Maj. General Leslie's Brigade 
of Guards. 

Memorandum. — When the Corps send to the Cattle- 
pen for their meat, it is requested that a Quarter-Master 
or Quarter-Master Sergeant attend with them. 

Quarter-Master for to-morrow North Carolians, Or- 
derly Sergeant for Maj. Gen. Leslie, Lieut. Colonel Web- 
ster's Brigade. 

Orders P^epeated, dated Head-quarters, Charlotte Town, 

5th Oct., 1180. 
The officers and soldiers of this army have given such 
repeated proofs of their zeal and attachment to the inter- 
ests of their King and Country, that Lord Cornwallis 
can have no doubt of their paying the most exact atten- 
tion to them in every instance by which they can be 
materially affected. He desires the officers and soldiers 
to reflect that the great object of his Majesty's force in 
this Country is to protect and secure his Majesty's faith- 
ful and loyal subjects, and to encourage and assist them 
in arming and opposing the Tyranny and oppression of 
the Rebels. His Lordship therefore recommends it to 
them in the strongest manner to treat with kindness all 
those who have sought protection in the British army, and 
to believe that although their ignorance and want of skill 
in military affairs may at present render their appearance 
awkward in a veteran and experienced army, when they 
are properly armed, appointed and instructed, they will 
show the same ardor and courage in the cause of Great 
Britain as their countrymen who repaired to the Royal 
standard in the Northern Colonies. 


T Head-quarter's, Smith's House, 5th March, 1181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Detail. Serg't. Corporal. Private. 

Brigade 1 Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 1 12 

Guards. J Hospital, do. "13 


Lt.-Col. "] Major-General Leslie's, " 1 

Webster's > Provision Wagons, "16 

Brigade. J Cattle Guard, "16 

" 3 18 

Bose's Brigade and Provost Guard, 1 1 18 

Quarter-Master for to-morrow, Brigade Guards and 
Orderly Sergeant for Major-General Leslie. 

N. B. Ten days salt to be issued to the troops imme- 

General After Orders, 5th March. 

The army will be in readiness to march to-morrow 
morning, at half past live o'clock. 

Order of march : 

Cavalry, ~) Ad. Guard. Regiment De Bose, 

Yagers, I Commanded by Two Six-Pounders, 

Ligbt Infantry Guards. ) Lt.-Col. Tarleton. Brigade Guards, 
Two Three-Pounders, Bat Horses, 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, Wagons, 

Two Six-Pounders, Lt.-Col. Hamilton's Corps, an 

Officer and 12 Dragoons. 

The detachment under the command of Captain Cham- 
pigney to join their respective regiments. 

The militia under the command of Col. Field to flank 
the bat horses. That under the command of Col. Bryan 
to flank the wagons. 

A detachment of an officer and twenty men from each 
of the Regiments of Lieut. -Col. Webster's Brigade, 
twenty men from the Brigade of Guards, and an officer 


and twenty men from the Regiment of Bose under the 
command of a Captain of Lieut. -Col. Webster's Brigade 
to march with Lieut. -Col. Hamilton's Regiment, in the 
rear of the wagons. The men for this detachment of the 
worst marchers. 

Head-quarters, Alton's, 6th March, 1781. 

Brigade Orders. — The pickets of the brigade to con- 
sist of one officer and fifty privates, to be posted agree- 
able to the directions of the Commander's (General 

The bat horses to be loaded and the troops to be 
under arms ready to march at seven o'clock, to-morrow 

Brigade Orders. — As the army is ordered to be ready 
to march at seven o'clock to-morrow morning, the pick- 
ets will not be doubled agreeable to the standing orders 
of the brigade, but the whole will be accoutred a quar- 
ter of an hour before daybreak. 

Brigade Orders, 7th .March, 1781. 
A foraging party consisting of one officer and thirty 
privates with the Bat horses of the brigade to parade 
at the guns immediately. 

Head-quarters, 7th March, 1781. 
Countersign, Milford. 

Detail for this day, Serg't. Corp'l. Private. 

ILord Gornwallis's Guard, 1 1 12 

Cattle, "16 

General Hospital, "1 3 

Total, 1 3 21 

Quarter-Master, Brigade and Orderly Sergeant to Gen. 

Detail for to-morrow the same as for this day. 


Brigade, Morning Orders, 8th March, 1181. 
The officer with half the pickets to be called into camp 
at eight o'clock this morning, (and return to their posts 
agreeable to former orders,) every other sentry will be 
taken off during the 'interval of time, taking care to have 
all such posted as command roads or approaches to the 

Head-quarters, 8th March, 1181. 
The army will march at half past nine o'clock this 

Order of march : 

Hamilton's Corps. Regiment of Bose, 

Bat Horses. Brigade of Guards, 

Wagons, Two Three-Pounders, 

Two Six-Pounders, Legion. 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, Light Infantry Guards, 

Two Six-Pounders, Yagers. 

Head-quarters, Duffield's, 8th March, 1181. 
The bat horses to be loaded and the troops under 
arms ready to march at seven o'clock to-morrow morning; 
in the following order : 

Yagers, Two Six-Pounders, 

Two Three-Pounders, Regiment of Bose, 

Brigade of Guards, North Carolinians, 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, Two Six-Pounders, 

Bat Horses and Wagons. 

One battalion of Lieut. -Col. Webster's Brigade with 
an officer and twenty dragoons, will march in the rear of 
the wagons. 

The light infantry of the Guards will send for their 
flour to the Commissaries at five o'clock in the morning ; 
the brigade of Guards at half past five. 


Brigade Orders, 9th March, 1781. 
A foraging party of one officer and thirty privates, 
with all the Bat horses of the brigade, to parade at 
the guns immediately. 

Head-quarters, GorrelPs Plantation, 9th March, 1*781. 
Brigade, Morning Orders, 10th March, IT 81. 
A foraging party of one officer and thirty privates, 
with all the Bat horses of the brigade to parade at 
the guns at eight o'clock this morning. Six days salt to 
be issued to the troops immediately. 

Head-quarters, GorrelPs Plantation, 11th March, IT 81. 

Guards, j Lord Co ™wallis' Guard, 
J Cattle, 








Col. Webster's 1 Provost Guard, 
Regiment. J Hospital, 








Regiment 1 Provision Wagons, 
De Bose. J General Leslie's, 





Total, " 2 12 

General After Orders, 10 o'clock, 10th March, 1181. 

A Captain and thirty privates will parade immediately 
from the Brigade of Guards and march to reinforce a 
Subaltern and twenty privates from the Regiment of De 
Bose at the mill. The officer will receive a guide from 


Head-quarters, Gorrel's plantation, 10th March, 1*781, 

After Orders. — The Bat horses to be loaded and the 
troops under arms ready to march at half past 5 o'clock, 
to-morrow morning in the following order. 

Cavalry, \ Advanced Guard, Regiment De Bose, 

Yagers, ( under Lt.-Col. North Carolinians. 

Light Infan. Guards, C Tarleton. Two Six-Pounders, 

Two Three-Pounders. / Brigade of Guards. 

Lt.-Col. Webster's Brigade, Bat Horses and Wagons. 
Two Six-Pounder's, 

A battalion of the Brigade of Guards with an officer 
and twelve dragoons, will march in the rear of the 

The militia will flank the Bat horses and wagons as 

Brigade Orders. — The first battalion guards will form 
the rear guard 

Head-quarters, Dillon's Mill, 11th March, 1*181. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Detail as usual. 

Morning Orders, half past 7 o'clock, 12 March, 1181. 

A foraging party to parade at the barn opposite 
Head-quarters, at 8 o'clock this morning ; all the Bat 
Horses of the army will assemble, and the covering party 
for the service. 

Officers, Serjt. Corpl. Private. 
Proportion for the Guards, 3 6 6 110 


Head-quarters, McGuestion's, (McCuise,) 12th March, 
Parole, Newfoundland. Countersign, Bedford. 

Brigade Guards. (Detail.) Sub. Serjt. Corpl. Private. 

Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 1 12 

Major.-General Leslie's, 1 6 

Provision Wagons, 1 3 

Lieut. -Col. Webster's Brigade. 
Provision Wagons, 
Cattle Guard, 






Mill Guard, 





1 1 4 42 

Begt. of DeBose, and N. C. Begiment. 
Provost Guard, 1118 

Orderley Serjeant for Major-Gen. Leslie, Lieut.-Col. 
Webster's Brigade. 

All absent men to be reported as soon as possible to 
the Deputy Adjutant-General. The officers of pickets 
are desired to be very alert and particularly attentive 
to people that pass their party ; no one must be suffered 
to pass but by authority from Head-quarters. "Women 
particularly are to be attended to. 

Brigade Orders. — Brigadier- Gen. O'Hara, is pleased 
to dispense with the women's attending punishment in 

After Orders, 12th March, 1781. 

The Bat horses to be loaded and the troops ready to 
march at half past 5 o'clock to-morrow morning. 

Order of March. 

An Officer and 12 Dragoons, Brigade of Guards, 

Two six-pounders, Two three-pounders, 

Begiment of Bose, Lieut.-Col. Webster's Brigade. 

Bat Horses and Wagon?, Cavalry 
North Carolina Begiment, 
Two six-pounders, 

Cavalry ■) 

_ . , _ „, Under Lieutenant- 

Light Infy, f 

* J Col. Tarleton. 

leagers, J 


Head-quarters, 13th, March, 1T81. 
Parole. Countersign. 

Brigade of Guards give Gen. Leslie's Guard and 
Orderly Sergeant. 

A party consisting of one officer and fifty privates from 
the Brigade of Guards to parade immediately and march 
to Mendenhall's mills, a guide will attend from Head- 

Morning Orders, 14th March, IT 81. * 

The party at Mendenhall's mill to be relieved at 12 
o'clock this day — a Serjeant and twelve of which relief 
will be sent immediately as an escort to the wagons to this 
mill, where they will remain and be joined by the other 
part of the guard. The Serjeant of this escort will in- 
form himself where the wagons are. 

A foraging party consisting of an officer and the same 
number of men as yesterday with all the Bat horses 
to parade at the church at 8 o'clock this morning. 

Brigade Orders. — Officers for the above duty C. Hor- 
neck, for the mill duty this day at 12 o'cloek. Ensign 
Stuart for Picket to-morrow morning, Cap. S wanton. 

Head-quarters, 14th March, 1181. 
Parole, Kingsbriclge. Countersign, Aniboy. 
Brigade of Guards will relieve Lord Cornwallis' Guard 
1 Serjeant, 1 Corporal, 12 Privates. 

The Quarter Masters of the day will in future attend 
the delivery of provisions to the different Corps, and see 
that each Corps is properly and regularly served in due 
proportion, and report all deficiencies to Head- quarters, 
Quarter Master for the day, Brigade of Guards. 

General after orders, 14th March, 1181. 
The army to be under arms, and the Bat horses loaded 


ready to march precisely at half past five o'clock to-morrow 
morning, in two columns, in the following order. 
Left Column. 

Yager's Ordinance Guard, Guns as usual. 

Lt. Infantry Guards, commanded by Right column. 
Cavalry. Lieut. Col. Tarleton. An officer and 12 Dragoons. 

Lieut. Col. Hamilton's Reg't. 

Col. Webster's Brigade. 

Regiment De Bose. 

Brigade of Guards. 

A detachment of two Captains, three Subalterns, and 
one hundred men from the Regiments which form the left 
column, to be composed of serviceable men, but not the 
best marchers. 

Detail for the detachment. 

Capt. Sub. Serg't. Corp'l. Privates. 
Brigade of Guards, 10 2 2 35 

Lieut. Col. Webster's Brigade, 12 3 3 45 

Regiment De Bose, 111 20 

Total, 2 3 6 6 100 

The troops to send for meal at half past four in the 
morning. The baggage will move with the right column. 

Brigade Orders. — The detachment to be formed as 
specified by General Orders, from the whole of the Bri- 

Capt. Horneck the officer for this duty. 

"General Orders, 16th March, 1T81. 
" It is expected as the public service requires it, that 
all arms, accoutrements, &c, taken from the enemy or not 
in immediate use of the corps, (from the killed and 
wounded of the army,) are given in immediately, those 
of the enemy to Head-quarters — those spare arms of the 
Corps to Lieut. McLeod, commanding the Royal Artil- 
lery, who will give receipts for the same." 


Head Quarters, 16th March, IT 81. 

Lord Cornwallis desires the officers and soldiers to ac- 
cept of his warmest acknowledgments for the very extra- 
ordinary valor displayed in the action of yesterday. He 
will endeavor to do justice to their merit in his representa- 
tion to their Sovereign of the Commander in Chief, and 
shall consider it as the greatest honor of his life, to have 
been placed at the head of so gallant an army. 

He gives his particular thanks to Major- General Leslie 
for the spirited and judicious attack which he conducted on 
the left wing of the enemy — to Brig. -General O'Harra and 
Lieut. Col. Webster, for the eminent services which they 
rendered at the head of their respective Brigades — to 
Brig. -General Howard, and to the officers who com- 
manded the Battalions and Corps of the Guards and 
British lines. 

To Major Dupy (De Bury) who eminently distinguished 
himself at the head of the Regiment of Bose. To Capt. 
Ryder, who commanded the Yagers — to Lieut. -Col. Tarle- 
ton, for the spirit and ability shown by him in the conduct 
of the Cavalry — to Lieut. McLeod, for his able manage- 
ment of the Artillery. He must likewise acknowledge the 
assistance of his Aid de Camps, Capt. Broderick, Major 
Ross, and Lieut. Holding, of Capt. Shelly, Aid de Camp 
to Maj.-Gen. Leslie, Major Despard, Adjutant-General, 
and Major of Brigade England, acting as Quarter- Master- 
General, and to the Majors of Brigades, Collins, Bowers 
and Manly. 

After Orders. — Seventeen wagons to set out at 8 
o'clock to-morrow morning, under the escort of Lieut. - 
Col. Hamilton's corps and an officer and twelve dra- 
goons. Each wagon to carry as many of the wounded 
men as can possibly be put into it. Mr. Grant is desired 


to take particular care that the men who are sent away 
in the wagons, to-morrow, are such as cannot possibly 
either ride or walk, and at the same time that their cases 
will admit of their being again with the army, and a proper 
attention to this order is of the greatest consequence. 
Mr. Grant is requested to be very exact in seeing it put 
properly into execution. 

A small guard will be given by each corps to take 
care of their respective wounded ; and an officer will 
attend from Lieut. -Col. Webster's brigade. Mr. Grant 
will order a proportion of the mate's department to at- 

Brigade Orders. — A Sergeant, 'Corporal and twelve 
men from the Brigade of Guards will form this guard. 

General Morning Orders, nth March, It 81. 

The army will forage at 10 o'clock this morning. 

All the Bat horses and covering parties of the differ- 
ent corps will assemble at the Provost's near Head- 
quarters, a quarter before 10. 

After Morning Orders, 9 o'clock. 

All the women of the army except one a company, to 
be immediately sent after the wounded men of the army. 

Brigade Orders. — As the returns given in yesterday 
are by no means accurate from the hurry in which they 
were taken, companies are desired to give returns agree- 
able to the annexed with all explanations on the back 
thereof — these returns to be given in to Mr. Wilson, who 
will give them to the Major of Brigade by 12 o'clock. 


Head-quarters, Guilford Court House, 17th March, 1781. 

Lord Cornwallis desires that the troops will believe 
that he is thoroughly sensible of the distress they suffer 
for the want of flour or meal, which is unfortunately in- 
creased by the accidental breaking of Dent's mill, last 
night. Their continuing here at present is necessary for 
the safety of their wounded companions. He knows 
that it is unnecessary to add anything on this subject as 
the spirit of this army has so often shown itself as supe- 
rior to the hardships of hunger and fatigue as to the 
danger of battle. 

Detail for this day. 

Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 
Gen. Leslies' do. 

Wagons' do. 















Brigade Orders 

3. — Temporary 


of the 



Officers. Sergeants. 


: and File. 


Caps. Christie, 



Light Infantry, 

Caps. Dunlop, 




First Company, 

Lieut. Lovelace, 



Second Company, 

Cap. Warnick, 



Lieut.-Col. Norton. 




Explanation. — The whole to be considered as one 
Battalion till further orders. 

Head-quarters, 17 March, 1781. 

The horses intended to carry the wounded men are to 
be sent to the Hospital in front of the regiment of Bose, 
at half past 7 o'clock to-morrow morning. 


General Orders. — The army will move at 10 o'clock in 
the following order : 

Yagers, Four six-pounders Lieut.-Col. Webster's Brig. 

Four six- pounders. Brigade of Guards. Two three-pounders. 
Regiment of Bose. Light Infantry. Cavalry. 

" Head-quarters 18th of March, 1781. 

Detail. Sergeant. Corporal. Privates. 
Lord Cornwallis Guard, 1 I 12 

General Leslie's do., 1 6 

Total, 1 2 18 

A Sergeant and twelve men to parade in the field to 

I Head-Quarter's, Ticino's Plantation, 18th March, 1181. 
Orders, ten o'clock at night. 

The wounded men remaining at this place, the spare 
ammunition wagons of the Artillery, and the Bat 
horses of the Army, to move at nine o'clock to-morrow 
morning, under escort of the Regiment De Bose, with 
two six Pounders, and an Officer and twenty Dragoons. 

The Surgeons and Mates of the different Corps are 
desired to attend at the barn, where the wounded men 
are, at 5 o'clock to-morrow morning. 

Head-quarters, 19th March, 1181. 

Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal, 12 
privates. Orderly Sergeant at Maj. General Leslie's — 

The Surgeons or Mates of the different Corps are to 
draw their Provisions from the Commissary for the sick 
and wounded of their respective Corps. 

Morning Orders, 20th March, 1781. 

A foraging party to parade at 8 o'clock this morning 
near the Hospital, with all the Bat horses of the different 
Corps. Proportion for Guards — 1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal, 
18 privates. 


Brigade Orders, 20th March, IT 81. 

The Companies will give in returns of all alterations 
&c., between the 23d of February and 1st of March, 
The Companies will give in returns to the 15th of 
March. Account then for all alterations since the 1st of 
March. The usual form is to be observed in doing this, 
and great correctness to be observed. The Adjutant 
will examine these returns and give them in, when cor- 
rect, to the Major of Brigade. 

General O'Hara having received complaints that the 
sick and wounded men have not been regularly and pro- 
perly victualled of late, to prevent this neglect in future, 
he is pleased to attach Quarter-Master Sergeant Hunt to 
the Hospital, with one of the Quarter-Master Corporals 
for this purpose, and also to direct that Sergeant Bad- 
dington, as long as his wound obliges him to remain at 
the Hospital, shall regulate and inspect their kettles, ap- 
pointing for this purpose those women that can be 
spared from other avocations in the Hospital, together 
with men under slight wounds to perform this duty for 
the rest. All further regulations will be attended to from 
Mr. Rush, the Surgeon. 

Head-quarters, Camp near Deep River, 

20th March, 1781. 
Parole. Countersign. 

General Morning Orders. — James Hunter, Esq., is 
appointed Lieut. Colonel of Militia, and to receive the 
Arms and Parole of all persons who surrendered on the 
Proclamation of the 18th instant. Lieut. Colonel Hun- 
ter's passes are to be respected at the Outposts as coming 
from Head-quarters. 



Sergeants. Corporals. Privates. 
Lord Cornwallis' Guard, 1 1 12 

General Leslie's " "16 

Hospital Wagons, "13 

Cattle, "13 

Total, 1 4 24 

Brigade Orders.— Lord Cornwallis having signified to 
Brigadier-General O'Hara that it is his Lordship's wish 
that the number of Bat men, servants and orderlies may 
be greatly decreased, the necessity of the service requir- 
ing that every means whatever may be used to strengthen 
the files in each Corps, and that those men permitted to 
continue in such employ shall be of the worst marchers. 
General O'Hara is pleased to make the following regu- 
lations for the Brigade of Guards, not doubting, however 
inconvenient for the moment the Officers of the Brigade 
may feel the want of former indulgences, they will not 
suffer such considerations to way (weigh) against the in- 
terest they have shown for the public service. Brigadier 
Generals 2, Commandant 1, Company 1, General Staff 
Officers — 1 Regimental Staff, 1 to each Surgeon, 1 
between two. 

The whole to march with the baggage, always com- 
pletely armed and appointed as other soldiers, and able 
to act for the defence of the whole. All Bat men 
exceeding the regulation, to join at 4 o'clock this day, 
and be ordered to take their turn of duty. 

Brig. General O'Hara requests Lieut. Colonel Norton 
will see this Order quickly complied with, and a return to 
be given in (with their names) in the service of Officers. 
When it is regulated the wounded Officers will have one 
Bat man each continued to them till they are fit for 


The first meeting of the General Assembly under the 
Constitution met at Newbern, April 8th, ITT 7, and in a 
few days passed the following " Act for declaring what 
crimes and practices against the State shall be treason, 
and what shall be misprision of treason, and providing 
punishments adequate to crimes of both classes, and for 
preventing the dangers which may arise from persons 
dissaffected to the State. 

Be it enacted, by the General Assembly of the State 
of North Carolina, and it is hereby enacted by the 
authority of the same, That all and every person and 
persons (prisoners of war excepted) now inhabiting or 
residing within the limits of the State of North Carolina, 
or who shall voluntarily come into the same hereafter to 
inhabit or reside, do owe, and shall pay allegiance to the 
State of North Carolina. 

And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, 
That if any person or persons belonging to, or residing 
within this State, and under the protection of its laws, 
shall take a commission or commissions from the King 
of Great Britain, or any under his authority, or other 
the enemies of this State or the United States of 
America, or shall levy war against this State or the 
Government thereof; or knowingly and willingly shall 
aid or assist any enemies at open war against this State, 


or the United States of America, by joining their enemies, 
or by enlisting, or procuring or pursuading others to en- 
list for that purpose, or by furnishing such enemies with 
arms, ammunition, provisions or any other article for 
their aid or comfort ; or shall form, or be in any-wise 
concerned in forming any combination, plot or conspiracy, 
for betraying this State, or the United States of America, 
into the hands or power of any foreign enemy ; or shall 
give or send any intelligence to the enemies of this State 
for that purpose ; every person so offending, and being 
thereof legally convicted by the evidence of two sufficient 
witnesses, or standing mute, or peremptorily challenging 
more than thirty-five jurors, in any court of Oyer and 
Terminer, or other court that shall and may be estab- 
lished for the trial of such offences, shall be adjudged 
guilty of high treason, and shall suffer death without the 
benefit of clergy, and his or her estate shall be forfeited 
to the State. Provided, That the judge or judges of the 
court wherein such conviction may be, shall and may 
order and appropriate so much of the traitor's estate as 
to him or them may appear sufficient for the support of 
his or her family. 

III. And be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, That if any person or persons within this 
State shall attempt to convey intelligence to the enemies 
of this State, or of the United States, or shall publicly 
and deliberately speak or write against our public defence ; 
or shall maliciously and advisedly endeavor to excite 
the people to resist the government of this State, or 
persuade them to return to a dependence on the crown of 
Great Britain ; or shall knowingly spread false and 
dispiriting news, or maliciously and advisedly terrify 
and discourage the people from enlisting into the service 


of the State ; or shall stir up or excite tumults, disorders, 
or insurrections in the State, or dispose the people to 
favor the enemy, or oppose and endeavor to prevent the 
measures carrying on in support of the freedom and inde- 
pendence of the said United States ; every such person or 
persons, being thereof legally c onvicted by the evidence 
of two or more creditable witnesses, or other sufficient 
testimony shall be adjudged guilty of misprision of treason 
and shall suffer imprisonment during the war, and forfeit 
to the State one half of his, her, or their lands, tenements, 
goods and chattels. 

IV. And be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, That all offences by this act declared mis- 
prision of treason shall be cognizable before any Justice 
of Peace of the County where the offence was committed, 
or where the offender can be found, and every Justice of 
the Peace within this State, on complaint to him made 
on the oath or affirmation of one or more credible person 
or persons, shall cause such offender to come before him, 
and enter into a recognizance with one or more sufficient 
security or securities, to be and appear at the next 
county court of the county wherein the offence was com- 
mitted, and abide the judgment of the said court, and in 
the mean time to be of the peace and good behaviour 
towards all people in the State, and for want of security 
or securities, the said justice shall and may commit such 
offender either to the gaol of the county or district where 
the offence was committed, and appoint a guard for the 
safe conveying of him to such gaol, and all persons 
charged on oath or affirmation with any crime or crimes 
by this act declared to be treason against the State, shall 
be dealt with and proceeded against in like manner as 
the law directs in respect to other capital crimes. 


V. And whereas the safety of the State, and the pre- 
sent critical situation of affairs, make it necessary that all 
persons who owe or acknowledge allegiance or obedience 
to the King of Great Britain should be removed out of 
the State, Be it enacted, by the authority aforesaid, 
That all the late officers of the King of Great Britain 
and all persons (Quakers excepted) being subjects of this 
State, and now living therein, or who shall hereafter 
come to live therein, who have traded immediately to 
Great Britain or Ireland within ten years last past, in 
their own right, or acted as factors, storkeepers or agents 
here, or in any of the United States of America, for 
merchants residing in Great Britain or Ireland, shall 
take the following oath of abjuration and allegiance, or 
depart out of the State, viz : I will bear faithful and 
true allegiance to the State of North Carolina, and will 
to the utmost of my power support, maintain, and de- 
fend the independent government thereof against 
George the Third, King of Great Britain, and his suc- 
cessors, and the attempts of any other person, prince, 
power, state, or potentate, ivho by the secret arts, trea- 
sons, conspiracies, or by open force, shall attempt to 
subvert the same, and will in every respect conduct 
myself as a peaceful, orderly subject ; and that I will 
disclose and make knoivn to the Governor, four mem- 
bers \of the Council of Stale, or some Justice of the 
Peace, all treasons, conspiracies and attempts, commit- 
ted or intended against the State, which shall come to 
my knowledge, and that all persons being Quakers, and 
under the circumstances above mentioned, shall make 
the folloiving affirmation, or depart out of the State. 
I A. B. do solemnly and sincerely declare and affirm, 
that I will bear true allegiance to the independent 
State of North Carolina and to the powers and authori- 


ties which are or may be established for the good 
government thereof, and I do renounce any allegiance 
to the present King of Great Britain, his heirs and 
successors ; and that I will disclose and make known 
to the Governer, some Members of the Council of State, 
or Justice of the Peace, all treasons, conspiracies, or 
attempts, committed or intended against the same, which 
shall come to my knowledge ; And the said oath or 
affirmation shall be taken and subscribed in open court 
in the county where the person or persons taking the 
same shall or do usually reside. 

VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, That the county court in each and every 
county, and every Justice of the Peace in each respective 
county, shall have full power to issue citations against 
persons coming within the above description, as officers, 
merchants, traders, factors, store-keepers, agents, and to 
demand surety on recognizance if necessary, and to require 
their attendance at the next ensuing court to be held for 
the county ; and if any person so cited (due proof being 
made thereof) shall fail or neglect to attend, or attend- 
ing shall refuse to take the said oath or affirmation (as 
the case may be) then the said court shall and may 
have full power and authority to order such person 
to depart out of this State to Europe or the West 
Indies within sixty days and may take bond and secu- 
rity, in the name of the governor, for the benefit of 
the State for faithful compliance with such order, and if 
any person so ordered shall fail or neglect to depart 
within the limited time, such bond shall be forfeited to 
the State, without good and sufficient reason shown to 
and approved of by the Governor and Council, and the 
Justices or any of them, in the county wherein the person 


so failing or neglecting to depart shall be found, shall 
and may cause him to be apprehended and be brought 
before the court of the county where the order was made ; 
and the said court shall in such case send the person so 
offending as speedily as may be out of the State either to 
Europe or the West Indies, at the cost and charge of 
such offender. Provided nevertheless, that all and 
every such person and persons shall have liberty to sell 
and dispose of his or her estates, and after satisfying all 
just demands to export the amount in produce (provis- 
ions and naval stores excepted) and may also nominate 
and appoint an attorney or attornies to sell and dispose 
of his or their estates, for his or their use and benefit, 
but in case any real estate belonging to any such person 
shall remain unsold for more than three months next 
after the owner thereof hath departed this State, the 
same shall be forfeited to and for the use of the public. 

VII. And be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, That if any person so departing or sent off 
from this State shall return to the same, then such per- 
son shall be adjudged guilty of treason against the State, 
and shall and may be proceeded against in like manner 
as is herein directed in cases of treason. 

YIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority 
aforesaid, That each and every justice in each respec- 
tive county may cite any person or persons to appear 
before the county court where such person or persons 
usually reside, and take the aforesaid oath or affirmation'; 
and in case of non-attendance or refusal, the said court 
shall and may have full power to compel such person or 
persons to leave the State, under the same regulations 
herein mentioned in other cases."